WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) — A trial date of Dec. 13 has been set for a former Benedictine monk accused of child abduction attempts in the Antioch area earlier this year.
Thomas Chmura, 57, 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 in April. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been out on bond living under 24-hour curfew in Lansing, Ill., with his father.
The trial of Chmura, who lived at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Benet Lake, Wis., for 32 years as a monk, previously had been scheduled Nov. 1.
Chmura, allegedly admitted to police that he went to Antioch five to 10 times during a six-week period to offer girls rides in his station wagon, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Victor O’Block.
The alleged motive behind the allegations has not been publicly detailed and Hauser said at a pretrial 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.
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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)