JOLIET – State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that pursuant to a plea agreement reached Wednesday, Christopher White, 40, of Mississippi, has been sentenced by Circuit Judge Daniel Rippy to seven years in prison – the maximum sentence available – for Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse, a Class 2 felony, of a 13-year-old girl. White also will be registered as a lifetime sexual predator.
The sexual abuse of the girl occurred in late 2015 to early 2016 when White, a friend of the victim’s family, was allowed to reside temporarily in the home in which the girl lived. White fled to Mississippi after the criminal sexual abuse had occurred.
“Twice this week, deviant child predators have been put behind bars for their heinous acts – and in both cases, the children knew their abusers,” Glasgow said. “We’ve heard about ‘stranger danger,’ but in fact the vast majority of people who sexually abuse children are friends, partners, family members, and community members. More than 90 percent of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. That is why conversations about sexual assault and teaching our children about boundaries and empowering them to speak up is so critical.”
Glasgow noted that abusers tend to utilize a manipulative process called grooming to gain the family’s and victim’s trust, providing them with more access to the child. Grooming behaviors may include special attention, outings, and gifts, isolating the child from others, and filling needs and roles within the family.
“Grooming behaviors are not only used to gain a victim’s trust, but often are used to create a trustworthy image and relationship with their family and community,” Glasgow said. “Child sexual abusers are often kind, charming, and helpful. This doesn’t mean that you must be suspicious of every person who is kind to your child. But you should be on guard that this type of behavior is used by abusers to gain the trust of adults, give them more direct access to the child, and make it less likely that the child will be believed if they speak up about the abuse.”
Glasgow commended Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Brown and Victim Witness Advocate Dannette Pasdertz, along with Forensic Interviewer Jackie Lundquist and the entire multi-disciplinary team at the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, for their commitment, perseverance, and sensitivity in this matter.
White will receive credit for 1079 days served.