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Man gets 40 years for molesting children
By Tony Gordon | Daily Herald Staff

Raul Cortez-Melo,

 

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Published: 1/19/2010 6:02 PM

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A Mundelein man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Tuesday for molesting four girls over several years.

Raul Cortez-Melo was facing a maximum sentence of 45 years during the hearing before Lake County Circuit Judge John Phillips.

Assistant State's Attorney James Newman said Cortez-Melo repeatedly raped four girls, all between the ages of 11 and 16, between 2003 and his arrest last year.

Cortez-Melo, 37, pleaded guilty in July to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Newman asked Phillips to impose the maximum sentence, calling Cortez-Melo "a parent's worst nightmare."

Assistant Public Defender Katherine Hatch asked for the minimum sentence of 18 years, saying her client had been molested himself as a child and began abusing alcohol at the age of 10.

Cortez-Melo asked for leniency in the sentence and said he would like to be sent to a prison where he can receive sex offender and substance abuse treatment.

Newman said Cortez-Melo will have to serve 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole and, because he is a citizen of Mexico, is likely to face deportation when his sentence is complete.