A Waukegan school bus driver was arrested and charged after he allegedly sexually assaulted a child relative repeatedly over several years, prosecutors said.
Richard Villanueva, 57, of Waukegan, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13 and criminal sexual assault of a family member.
Last Tuesday, a relative of Villanueva, who is now an adult, reported to the Waukegan Police Department about multiple occasions of sexual assault committed by Villanueva when the victim was a child, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Investigators questioned Villanueva and were able to secure corroborating statements from him regarding the alleged sexual assaults, the state’s attorney’s office said.
The state’s attorney’s office worked with the police department to press charges against Villanueva.
A Lake County judge set the man’s bond at $750,000. He is scheduled to appear in court on September 21 for a preliminary hearing.
The investigation is ongoing and authorities are asking parents to speak with their children in case they have encountered Villanueva, who is a school bus driver in Waukegan.
Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart applauded the work of the Waukegan Police Department’s Investigations Unit and his assistant state’s attorneys.
“Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. I want to thank the Waukegan Police Department for their effective investigation and our ASAs who reviewed this case in the Sex Crimes Unit,” Rinehart said.
“Our prosecutors and victim advocates will ensure that the victims in this case get all the support that they need and that the defendant faces justice for his actions,” Rinehart added.
Authorities are asking anyone with information on the investigation to contact the Waukegan Police Department Investigations Unit at 847-360-9000.