Former youth counselor gets 40 years for sexually assaulting tee - Fox 2 News Headlines

Former youth counselor gets 40 years for sexually assaulting teen

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A former counselor at a Logan Square Boys & Girls Club, convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who sought his help getting a job, was sentenced to 40 years in prison Monday.

Zale Hoddenbach, 45, was convicted by a jury in February of two counts of criminal sexual assault and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.

When the girl, then 15, went to Hoddenbach looking for job advice, he gave her a list of employers, but also offered to pay her to be photographed in lingerie, prosecutors said.

During the trial, the victim testified that in 2010, she also agreed to take pictures of Hoddenbach and a woman having sex for $200.

But she claimed she didn’t know she would be part of a salacious photo shoot. The woman unexpectedly started fondling her, she testified, and Hoddenbach started clicking away on his cellphone and digital camera, the Sun-Times reported at the time.

Prosecutors said Hoddenbach used those photos as a bargaining chip for the next year, threatening to post them on the Internet if the teen didn’t give in to his sexual advances at various locations, including a suburban Sybaris.

He was arrested after the teen told a teacher about the assaults. Authorities found numerous nude photos of the girl, as well as threatening messages from Hoddenbach, on her cell phone, according to prosecutors.

Hoddenbach was a respected CeaseFire “violence interrupter” who gave lectures on the perils of gun and gang violence, the Sun-Times reported.

Judge Nicholas Ford handed down the 40-year sentence against Hoddenbach,

who is also awaiting trial in a case involving a second teen he allegedly forced to perform a sex act at his Boys & Girls Club office in 2011.

Both women filed a joint civil suit against Hoddenbach and the Boys & Girls Club in 2012, a case that remains pending, court records show.

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