McCullom Lake man gets 15 years for impregnating child

WOODSTOCK – A McCullom Lake man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for impregnating a 12-year-old girl, an act the judge called “repulsive and disgusting and unforgivable.”

Rafael Rodriguez-Sanchez, 41, was facing six to 30 years in prison during the sentencing hearing Wednesday afternoon on the Class X felony of predatory sexual assault of a child.

The sentence will be followed by a parole term of anywhere of three years to life and he may face deportation, McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said.

In a brief statement, Rodriguez-Sanchez apologized and said he accepted responsibility for his actions.

Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Zalud asked for a sentence of 20 years, but Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos pointed to Rodriguez-Sanchez’s lack of criminal history and an assessment that deemed him a moderate low risk for recidivism.

The girl’s mother found out about the sexual relationship – which Mourelatos said wasn’t forced – when she took the girl to the doctor and found out she was pregnant, the woman said during a prepared statement Wednesday.

“It wasn’t possible,” she said. “I was in shock. No words.”

Rodriguez-Sanchez was a man she and her husband trusted, she said during the emotional statement.

“We provided a home, a family and a refuge,” she said. “[My husband] was always helping him. We all loved Mr. Rafael. How could he betray us and abuse my daughter?”

Rodriguez-Sanchez has always been a productive member of society, providing for two children he had before moving to the U.S. and the one child he had here with his now ex-wife, his defense attorney, Mourelatos, said.

“I don’t know what happened on that day,” he said. “I don’t know what went through his mind, but he knows what he did was wrong.”

Mourelatos asked for a shorter sentence in particular due to the excessive financial hardship that would fall on Rodriguez-Sanchez’s dependents.

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