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McHenry Co. sex abuse suspect nabbed after 13 years on the run
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Michelle Abbeduto

 

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Published: 12/31/2009 12:01 PM

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After more than 13 years on the lam, a Kankakee-area woman was behind bars in the McHenry County jail Thursday facing felony charges she molested a teenage girl at a group home for troubled adolescents.

Michelle Abbeduto, 33, of Bourbonnais, was arrested at her home without incident Wednesday by the McHenry County Sheriff's Fugitive Apprehension Unit on a recently unearthed warrant dating to 1996.

"The only comment she made when taken into custody was, 'What took so long,' " sheriff's Lt. Andrew Zinke said.

Abbeduto was transported after her arrest to the county jail, where she remains on a $150,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a hearing on her request for a lower bond.

The arrest warrant initially was issued April 11, 1996 after a grand jury indicted Abbeduto on charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse, sexual exploitation of a child and unlawful restraint.

The charges stem from allegations Abbeduto engaged in sexual activity in February 1996 with a 14-year-old girl at the now closed Forest Academy for Young Women in Wonder Lake. In two instances, charges allege, Abbeduto barricaded the girl's bedroom door during the alleged molestation.

It is not clear whether Abbeduto, who was 19 when the allegations surfaced, was a resident or employee at the home, Zinke said. The 14-year-old, he said, was a resident.

Zinke credited apprehension unit members for finding the 13-year-old warrant and doing the work to track down Abbeduto. Back when the warrant initially was issued, he said, the department did not have deputies specifically assigned to track down wanted suspects, particularly those living outside the county. The unit today has more than 5,000 open warrants with which to contend.

Abbeduto, who said in court documents she lives with her mother and is unemployed, could face up to seven years in prison if convicted of all the charges.