Crime & Courts

Prosecution rests in sex abuse trial

WOODSTOCK – Prosecutors rested their case Tuesday afternoon against an Algonquin man accused of fondling a 5-year-old girl at his wife’s in-home day care.

Mohammad Salam, 62, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for alleged touching that prosecutors said took place in 2010.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Dave Johnston said the girl and her sister, then ages 5 and 3, were taking a bath when their mother heard their conversation about inappropriate touching. The mother then asked the girls questions and “learned what the defendant was doing,” Johnston said.

The next day, she went to police.

Defense attorney Margi Worth said the girl’s mother was a “hypersensitive parent” and pointed out inconsistencies in the mother’s account of where Salam allegedly touched her daughter.

Worth also said there were disagreements over a contract the mother had signed regarding paid vacation for Salam’s wife, although the mother denied that there were problems.

The girl, who is now 7, took the stand in the afternoon. She said Salam “used to touch my butt” underneath her clothing about three times a week while they were in his upstairs bedroom.

Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud asked her why she didn’t tell him to stop.

“I was young, and I didn’t know better,” she said.

Prosecutors also played a tape of an interview of the girl by officer Amy Bucci of the Algonquin Police Department.

During the interview, the girl said that Salam’s wife “does not know that he does that.”

She also said that Salam would say nice things to her and try to get her to trust him.

“He said you don’t have to tell your parents,” the girl said.

According to court records, after the complaint against Salam was filed, a protective plan was put into place by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The terms stated that Salam was not to be on the premises during the day care hours and could not have any contact with any of the day care children.

The Salams later were ordered to immediately terminate their operation after Mohammad Salam was accused of violating the plan.

When an order to that effect was delivered to their home, the Salams surrendered their day care license.

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