JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) – A far southwest suburban man pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually abusing an 8-year-old girl, four years after a jury found him not guilty of the same crime.

Peter A. Ventsias, 55, of Braidwood, had been set to go on trial this week. He instead agreed to let prosecutors re-charge him with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and entered the blind plea. Judge Richard Schoenstedt set an April 4 sentencing date.

Ventsias was originally charged in 2006 for the abuse that prosecutors said took place in August 2005. A jury found him guilty of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in December 2007, but it acquitted him of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to court records. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The Illinois Appellate Court overturned the verdict in November 2009 and sent the case back to Will County for a new trial.

Ventsias’ victim would likely recant her accusation if returned to the witness stand, prosecutors told Schoenstedt. However, they said they’d be able to play a taped statement and refer to her previous testimony to prove their case.

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