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Man receives probation for sexual abuse, burglary

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 10:22 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 8:39 a.m. CDT
Dennis Hamel, of DeKalb, was charged with home invasion, burglary and criminal damage to property for breaking into his estranged wife's home and punching the man he found in bed with her. He also allegedly rammed her garage door twice with a white van, causing less than $300 in damage.

SYCAMORE – A 50-year-old DeKalb man accused of breaking into his estranged wife’s home to see who was in her bed escaped a prison sentence Tuesday as part of a plea agreement.

Dennis Hamel, of the 1300 block of North 13th Street, was sentenced to four years of probation Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and burglary. If convicted of the most serious charge he originally faced, home invasion, Hamel would have been sentenced to between six and 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors pursued the plea bargain because of Hamel’s lack of criminal history and after consulting with the victims, said DeKalb County Assistant State’s Attorney Phil Montgomery.

Hamel was accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter at least four times from 1998 to 2000 when she was younger than 18 years old, court records show.

In a separate case, Hamel also was accused of breaking into the home of his estranged wife Aug. 17, 2013, punching a man who was in the home and damaging his wife’s garage with his car, causing less than $300 in damage, court records show.

Associate Judge John McAdams ordered Hamel to submit to both sex offender and alcohol evaluations. Hamel is next due in court Sept. 30 to show proof he started the evaluations.

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