Ex-guidance counselor gets 40 years for sexually assaulting girl

Written By BY MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporter Posted: 08/04/2014, 11:38am

A former guidance counselor for the Boys & Girls Club of America in Logan Square received a 40-year prison sentence Monday for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl who came to him seeking advice on how to get a job.

Zale Hoddenbach, 45, was affectionately known as “Mr. Z” to the teenagers he counseled. On the streets, he was a respected CeaseFire “violence interrupter” who gave lectures on the perils of gun and gang violence.

Behind this facade lurked a separate persona.

The girl testified during a jury trial in February that she agreed to take pictures of Hoddenbach and a woman having sex for $200 in 2010.

She didn’t know she would be part of a salacious photo shoot. The woman fondled the girl, and Hoddenbach took pictures with his cellphone and digital camera, she testified.

Hoddenbach used those photos as blackmail, threatening to post them on the Internet if the teenager didn’t give in to his sexual advances at various locations, including a suburban Sybaris, prosecutors said.

Hoddenbach, of Elmhurst, told the girl she was his “little bitch” and even forced her to have sex with his friend, prosecutors said.

In February, a jury convicted Hoddenbach of two counts of criminal sexual assault and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for incidents that took place between October 2010 and September 2011.

The female victim is now a 19-year-old married mother.

Hoddenbach is awaiting trial on child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges stemming from incidents with a separate victim.

A representative from the Boys & Girls Club of America could not be reached Monday afternoon.

Email: mdudek@suntimes.com

Twitter: @mitchdudek

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