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Judge bars accused sex abuser from attending wedding alleged victims will be at

An 18-year-old Harvard man will not be allowed to be a groomsman in a family friend’s wedding later this month because two of the three children he’s accused of sexually abusing also will be there, a judge ruled.

McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge on Wednesday denied Benjamin Savino’s request to attend a wedding where the alleged victims also would be present. Defense attorney William Bligh will again seek to modify Savino’s bond Friday morning.

Savino, of the 5500 block of Pagles Road, was arrested in July after the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office received a report that the man had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor Oct. 18, 2018, according to a criminal complaint. Savino is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child. If convicted, he could be sentenced to between three and seven years in prison.

At a hearing Wednesday, Bligh said Savino would be supervised at the wedding, which the young man planned to attend as a groomsman.

McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd, however, called weddings “large, chaotic affairs,” and noted that not all of Savino’s family is aware of the charges or identities of the alleged victims.

“I have an objection to him being around any of them,” Ladd said.

Coppedge denied the request, agreeing that a previously filed no-contact order would prevent Savino from attending the wedding.

In addition to his scheduled court appearance Friday, Savino is also due back in court Oct. 21.

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