BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – A Belleville man faces three charges after police found a 15-year-old neighbor boy in his home Saturday night. Police were called after the teen's guardian found the child’s shoes and bicycle outside the suspect's home.
When officers arrived at the house in the 1100 block of West A St. the back door was slightly open and they yelled for the occupants to answer.
"No one came to the door, so officers fearing for the safety of the juvenile went into the residence. Upon going into the residence they located the juvenile and suspect in bed," Sgt. Mark Heffernan of the Belleville Police Department said Tuesday.
According to police the juvenile appeared to be highly intoxicated. He was rushed to a hospital and the suspect was taken into custody.
At that point officers secured the scene and applied for a search warrant which was granted.
St. Clair State's Attorney Brendan Kelly issued three charges against 52-year-old Loren D. McDuffee of Belleville late Monday. He was arraigned Tuesday morning and is being held on a $500,000 bond. McDuffee is charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Abuse, a class 2 felony; Attempted Criminal Sexual Abuse, a class 3 felony; and Giving Liquor to a Minor, a class A misdemeanor.
Heffernan is asking parents who think their children might have had some contact with McDuffee to talk to their youngsters and determine if they, too, might have been victims of abuse. He praised the teen's guardian for following her instincts and calling police. "The boy had never been out past curfew before, Heffernan said.
Anyone with concerns should call the Belleville Police at 618-234-1212.
Carolyn Hubler, of the St. Clair County Child Advocacy Center, urged parents and relatives to begin such conversations with love and assurances that the children will not be in trouble. "You need to let them know they can come and talk to you about anything," she said. Hubler, executive director of the center and an experienced counselor, added that children often don't reveal abuse initially and sometimes they are more comfortable talking to a grandparent or other adult relative.
Abuse victims usually know the abuser. In the case of teenagers, alcohol, drugs or cigarettes are often used to entice teens to the abuser's home. Counseling for abused children and teens is recommended Hubler said.