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Convicted molester gets 3 years probation
By Harry Hitzeman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/27/2007 12:36 AM

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A former Westchester man convicted of molesting his then 4-year-old granddaughter at a Sugar Grove festival received three years probation Friday.

James M. Ostrowski, 50, also must register as a sex offender, have no unsupervised contact with anyone younger than 17, not drink alcohol and is subject to random drug and alcohol tests.

Kane County Judge Grant Wegner convicted Ostrowski in March of two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for kissing the girl while lying on her in front of the bandstand at the Corn Boil Festival July 29, 2006.

He was found not guilty of six other counts of abuse for touching the child on the stomach, arm and leg. He also was found guilty of resisting arrest for struggling with officers who pulled him off the child after witnesses complained.

Ostrowski, who now lives in a halfway house in Joliet, faced up to 28 years in prison. He did not address the court during Friday's brief hearing, at which he and prosecutors agreed on the sentence.

Ostrowski's sister, Barbara DeFalco, said her brother was guilty of poor judgment, not being a sexual predator.

"My brother is an alcoholic, he is not a pedophile. He is not a child molester," DeFalco said outside the courtroom. "He has a history of making bad decisions, but not with his granddaughter."

Ostrowski had not been charged with any sexual crime previously. He has been found guilty in Cook County between 1994 and 2001 of crimes including domestic battery, disorderly conduct, retail theft, battery and possession of a controlled substance.

Assistant Public Defender Brenda Willett has appealed the verdict, During the trial, Willett argued Ostrowski had been drinking, which led to exaggerated playing and shows of nonsexual affection.

Prosecutor Christine Bayer said he was behaving sexually with the child, which was backed up by the fact the girl ran away from him crying when the police intervened.