A Morris man will spend up to 12 years in prison for criminal sexual acts he committed to two underage family members.
Thomas E. Harr, 72, of 8150 N. Brisbin Road, was sentenced Thursday, Jan. 3, to 10- and 12-year prison terms, to be served concurrently, as a result of the sexual assault and sexual abuse crimes that date back as far as 1994.
Harr was formally charged Aug. 30, 2012, in Grundy County Circuit Court with three felony counts of criminal sexual assault and two felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse to a family member under the age of 18. He was initially arrested Aug. 23, 2012, by Grundy County Sheriff's Department officials on a charge of criminal sexual assault.
Harr was convicted last week on the three sexual assault charges and sentenced to serve 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He received a four-year prison sentence for each count, and the sentences for all three counts must be served consecutively.
Harr received credit for having already served 127 days, from Aug. 30, 2012, to Jan. 3, 2013. He must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, according to court documents.
Grundy County State's Attorney Jason Helland said the incidents came to light when the first victim, who was assaulted during the ages from 12 to 14, told a youth minister of what happened while attending a church retreat.
According to court documents, the sex crimes in this case were committed from August 2009 through June 2011.
After the first victim was interviewed, the second victim came forward, said Helland.
In a second criminal sexual assault case, Harr was also convicted and sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term for sex acts committed as far back as 1994 to another family member who was under the age of 18 at the time of the crime.
The statue of limitations extends the time for prosecuting these particular charges to within 20 years after the the victim turns 18, according to court documents.
Helland said the second victim was under the age of 5 at the time of the assaults.
This prison sentence is to be served concurrently, or at the same time, as the first sentence at the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In addition to the prison terms, Harr must also pay a $250 fee for DNA analysis and pay $215 in court costs.
According to the Grundy County Sheriff's Department, detectives assigned to the investigation worked with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the Grundy County Advocacy Center, resulting in the charges.
Staff Writer Christina Chapman-Van Yperen (firstname.lastname@example.org) contributed to this report.