(WHEATON) A west suburban “child sexual predator” was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday for sexually abusing and taking lewd photos of his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter, according to prosecutors.
Joel Augustine, 36, of Thornhill Drive in Carol Stream was found guilty on April 24 of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, three counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of child pornography, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
“For more than three years, this young victim was forced to live under the same roof as her attacker,” state’s attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement after the sentencing. “I can only imagine the fear and horrors she had to face on a daily basis in the form of Joel Augustine.”
It took a jury only about 90 minutes to reach its verdict, but sentencing was delayed because of another similar case in which Augustine was charged, prosecutors said at the time.
Prosecutors said that from September 2009 through October 2012, Augustine sexually assaulted the girl “on numerous occasions. The assaults occurred at the home Augustine shared with his girlfriend and her two daughters,” the statement from prosecutors said.
He also “took numerous photographs of the girl in different stages of undress, including one pornographic photo,” the statement said.
Berlin praised the victim, saying she “found the strength and courage to confront Mr. Augustine and help us put an end to his reign of terror. She is a remarkable young girl and it is my sincerest hope that she will recover fully from the emotional and physical harm Mr. Augustine has so mercilessly inflicted upon her.”