(CBS) – New charges were lodged Monday against a north suburban couple already accused of committing years of sexual assaults – some of which prosecutors say involved their adopted son and foster son.
In lurid detail, Assistant Cook County State’s Atty. Lorna Amado-Chevlin described sexual abuse that dated back to 2012, shortly after Christopher and Anthony Wheeler of Prospect Heights adopted an 11-year-old boy.
Amado-Chevlin said the couple’s son and foster son were told to bring home friends, who suffered similar sexual assault — often on camera.
Christopher Wheeler allegedly told all of them repeatedly, “What happens in the house stays in the house.”
Prosecutors say someone attempted to erase the videos before a search warrant was executed on their home but experts were able to reconstruct the videos.
Ultimately, when they knew police were closing in, the Wheelers allegedly planned an escape to Mexico with the adopted son. Defense attorney Bob Fox characterized the planned trip as a “vacation.”
Judge Steven Gobel said the Wheelers are “an extreme danger” to any child and ordered them held without bond.
The couple originally was charged in March with abusing three victims. Cash bond had been set at $4 million for Christopher Wheeler and $3 million for Anthony Wheeler. Neither had been able to post it.
The Wheelers return to court April 27. The adopted son has been placed with relatives, while the foster son has been placed with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.