Former student charged with sex abuse of children

August 22, 2009 (MOOSEHEART) Abraham Mazon-- who is listed in records with a Chicago address, but attended Mooseheart from 2004 until his Aug. 11 arrest -- remains in Kane County jail on $500,000 bail on one count of predatory criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse. He returns to court next week.

Prosecutors allege Mazon sexually assaulted a girl under the age of 13 and improperly touched another child younger than 13 between Jan. 29 and Aug. 11, documents show.

Executive Director Scott Hart said Mooseheart officials contacted the Kane County Sheriff's Department and Illinois Department of Children and Family Services on July 31, immediately after learning of the allegations.

Mazon was initially removed from campus after the allegations surfaced and then the Mooseheart program after his arrest.

"Certainly, I believe it's an isolated incident. The allegations are certainly sad and unfortunate," Hart said, adding the incidents occurred at the 1,000-acre facility run by Moose International.

Hart affirmed the high priority Mooseheart places on the safety of the children it serves.

DCFS confirmed an investigation of Mazon and two pending probes at Mooseheart, "both on allegations of neglect," spokesman Jimmie Whitlow said. Those cases were opened on July 31 and Aug. 14, respectively. Whitlow would not comment on whether DCFS has any investigations involving both Mazon and Mooseheart.

"My best guess is that they are probably related," Hart said of DCFS' role.

With its focus on helping children in need through housing and education, Mooseheart has endured a handful of rough times related to criminal accusations against staff. In 2003, former house parent Jonathan Scott received a 22-year prison sentence on sex assault and abuse convictions. He is scheduled to be paroled in 2018.

In separate cases since 1988, four house parents were convicted on molestation charges, while one other went to prison for videotaping students having sex.

Mazon's attorney, Kane County Public Defender David Kliment, did not return a phone call seeking comment. The Kane County state's attorney's office declined to comment on the case.

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