Robert Ballarini, 59, of the 600 block of Nantucket Way, Island Lake
Robert Ballarini, 59, of the 600 block of Nantucket Way, Island Lake

An Island Lake man faces between six and 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Friday to sexually assaulting a child in 2012.

If 59-year-old Robert Ballarini's case had gone to trial and he were convicted of more than one count of predatory criminal sexual assault pertaining to two separate victims, he would have received a mandatory natural-life prison sentence, prosecutors said.

Instead, Ballarini, of the 600 block of Nantucket Way, accepted a partially negotiated plea deal Friday morning.

In exchange for his guilty plea to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13, Ballarini will receive no more than 12 years in prison, said his attorney, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Ryan Ahern.

Prosecutors also agreed to dismiss nine remaining counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

The felony charge typically is punishable by as many as 30 years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 9.

Officers arrested Ballarini in September 2018 after an Island Lake police investigation. A pair of females disclosed the abuse to a family member, who then took the information to the Island Lake Police Department in July, Police Chief Dan Palmer said at the time.

The assaults are believed to have taken place between May 20, 2012, and May 19, 2016, and April 23, 2012, and Aug. 4, 2018, according to a six-count criminal complaint filed in McHenry County court. The offense to which Ballarini pleaded guilty Friday stemmed from a May 20, 2012, allegation, McHenry County Assistant State's Attorney Michael Combs said.

It was not clear how Ballarini might have known the victims or come in contact with them.

He remained at the McHenry County Jail on Friday afternoon on $250,000 bond, meaning he would need to post $25,000 bail to secure his release.

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Northwest Herald