Mt. Prospect Man Accused of Sexual Abuse

By Rob Olmstead
Daily Herald
November 17, 2007

A Mount Prospect man was accused of sexually abusing a boy from his Chicago church repeatedly over the past 11 years, Cook County sheriff's police said Friday.

Jose Rolando Morales, 49, of 2257 S. Lexington Court, was arrested Wednesday at his home after a couple in the church noticed "an unusual closeness" between Morales, the founder of the nondenominational church, and a young church member, Sheriff Tom Dart said.

The couple reported it to the sheriff's office, which interviewed the victim, Dart said.

Although the victim is now 22 and a consenting adult, the abuse started when he was 11, Dart said.

"It's one of those classic molestation cases where you have an authority figure who takes advantage of that (trust)," Dart said.

Morales was charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and one count of criminal sexual assault. He is being held at Cook County jail on $400,000 bond and faces 30 years in prison, if convicted.

The abuse started at the church, Ashland Christian Ministries, 3637 W. Montrose Ave., Chicago, and then continued at Morales' home, Dart said. Eventually, as the boy grew older, Dart alleged, Morales made threats to keep him quiet.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the sheriff's Child Exploitation unit at (708) 865-4875.


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