Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
877-844-5461 (TTY)
May 3, 2006


Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that a Hardin County man was arrested yesterday after being charged with sexually abusing three of his granddaughters in a series of alleged incidents dating to the early 1990s.

Madigan said her office filed charges Monday in Hardin County Circuit Court against William Tolbert, 65, for sexually molesting two of his young granddaughters between June and November 2005. He also was charged with offenses against another, older granddaughter that allegedly took place between 1992 and 1999.

Tolbert was taken into custody early Tuesday morning by Illinois State Police (ISP) officers at his home in Elizabethtown and is being held in the Saline County Jail following his appearance before Judge Don Foster where bond was set at $1 million. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for May 23 at 10 a.m.

Tolbert is charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X felony, punishable by six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), for the alleged assaults of two granddaughters under the age of 13. Tolbert also was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of another granddaughter during her pre-teen years in the early 1990s. This Class 2 felony is punishable by three to seven years in the IDOC.

The charges are the result of an investigation by Madigan’s office, the ISP and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Senior Assistant Attorneys General Neal Goodfriend and Vincenzo Chimera are handling the case for Madigan’s Special Prosecutions Bureau and Criminal Prosecutions/Trials Assistance Bureau, respectively.

The public is reminded that these charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.


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