60-year sentence for man who molested boys

November 13, 2009 3:49:47 PM PST
A suburban man accused of running a sex club for boys out of his home has learned how much he will pay for his crimes.A judge sentenced Michael Rebecca to 60 years in prison Friday.

Rebecca admitted to more than 200 incidents with boys between the ages of 11 and 16. He was convicted on 20 counts of sexual assault back in September.

The incidents took place at Rebecca's Vernon Hills home.

Prior to Friday's sentencing, Rebecca and the judge heard from one of the victims.

The Lake County judge called Michael Rebecca a parent's worst nightmare, a predator who started with the son of a close friend of his, and then used that boy to lure more victims.

The judge threw the book at Rebecca Friday, giving him the maximum sentence possible. It will likely turn out to be a life sentence for the man charged with enticing boys to hang out at his home and swapping iPods, cell phones, computer games and cash for sex acts.

Prosecutors say Rebecca told the boys to live by a simple rule: 'What happens at Mike's house, stays at Mike's house.' But, one of them broke that rule, and that led to an avalanche of charges and emotions. Late Friday afternoon, the first victim, now 19 years old, spoke in court.

He had trusted Rebecca like a family member and told the judge, "I did introduce Mike to my friends. He molested them. I can't help but feel guilty. Because of him, I lost the most significant years of my life."

That victim's name was not being released Friday.

Mr. Rebecca confessed on video to detectives, but so far, he has refused to take responsibility in court.

"He denied the responsibility and really blamed the 14 to 16-year-old boys, showing that he is not likely to plead guilty any time soon," Lake County Asst. State's Attorney Bodie Haxal told ABC7 Chicago.

Michael Rebecca is charged with molesting a total of nine boys. Because of relatively new case law, he has to be tried for each of the cases individually. That means, potentially, there could be eight more trials and eight more boys who have to recount the ugly acts.


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