WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — Several defense motions, including a request to dismiss the case against a Benedictine monk accused of child abduction attempts in the Antioch area, will be the focus of a hearing Aug. 21 in Lake County Circuit Court.
Thomas Chmura is charged with four counts of child abduction, a felony punishable with up to three years in prison, related to his alleged offering of rides to a number of girls whose ages ranged from 11 to 14 on April 25 and April 26, the Lake County News-Sun is reporting.
Chmura, who lived at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Benet Lake, Wis., for 32 years as a monk, has denied the chargers, is out on bond and is living under 24-hour curfew in Lansing, Il. with his father.
Defense attorneys Robert Hauser and Kenneth Clark have filed motions to dismiss the case, to suppress evidence and formally complaining about excessive media attention to the case.
Chmura, 57, allegedly admitted to police that he went to Antioch five to 10 times during a six-week period to offer girls rides, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Victor O’Block.
The alleged motive behind the allegations has not been publicly detailed and Hauser said at the previous court hearing that the case has been blown out of proportion.
“There is too much attention on this case. The defendant offered rides on two different occasions. When the offer was declined, he left,” Hauser said.
But Judge James Booras noted during that hearing that “there are serious charges here.”
O’Block had said that Chmura attempted to lure females ages 14, 12, 12 and 11 into his vehicle on April 25 and April 26 in the Antioch area.
Police said Chmura said to the 14-year-old girl, “Come on, you’re so beautiful, let me drive you home.” When she refused, they said he told her, “Get in the car,” but she ran, and he drove off.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)