A former College of Lake County campus police officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to having sex with an underage girl from his neighborhood and then harassing her when he was out on bail.
Authorities say Marc W. Carder, 50, of Island Lake, had sex with the girl, who was between 13 and 15 at the time, three to four times during the summer and fall of 2006. Police learned of the abuse when the victim's father discovered pictures of Carder and his daughter having sex.
While Carder was out on bond after being charged in connection with the abuse, Carder wrote online messages purportedly from the girl saying she still had feelings for him and was planning their wedding. Carder posted the messages on MySpace.com and Honeymoonwishes.com, leading the victim's family to receive wedding- and honeymoon-related mail at their home, prosecutors said.
Carder, who was fired from his job as campus police supervisor after his initial arrest in 2007, then told authorities the girl victim was harassing him, but investigators traced the source of the postings to Carder's computer.
Carder on Thursday pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and witness harassment. Because he will receive day-for-day credit and credit for time served, Carder will be behind bars for about another 41/2 years. He will have to submit to at least four years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender for life.
"Ten years is a lengthy sentence and appropriate for the seriousness of the crime," said Assistant State's Attorney Ryan Blackney, who helped prosecute the case.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed a charge of predatory criminal sexual assault, which would have required them to prove the victim was younger than 13 when the abuse began.
"There were some potential evidentiary issues in proving she was under 13, where we could confidently prove she was 13 to 17," State's Attorney Lou Bianchi said.
Carder's attorneys could not be reached for comment.