An 84-year-old man charged with molesting a young girl who cared for his ponies pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court.
George Todd, of the 28000 block of Roberts Road in unincorporated Barrington, faces a mandatory prison sentence of four to 15 years if found guilty of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Assistant State's Attorney Marykay Foy said Roberts is the owner of Todd's Ponies and Hay Rides in the Boone County community of Garden Prairie.
A 14-year-old girl who cares for Todd's ponies at his residence told police Todd had molested her on several occasions between June and August of this year.
Investigators from the Lake County sheriff's office recorded an Aug. 19 telephone conversation between Todd and the girl during which he discussed the sex acts and acknowledged he knew she was 14.
Todd was arrested immediately after the phone conversations and police say he admitted molesting the girl.
Associate Judge George Bridges scheduled a trial of the case for Nov. 16 and ordered Todd, who is held on $500,000 bond, to appear in court Oct. 28.