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Crime & Courts

New charges against gymnastics instructor

Joseph R. Hannon, 21, of the 1700 block of DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, faces sex assault and sex abuse charges against children.
Joseph R. Hannon, 21, of the 1700 block of DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, faces sex assault and sex abuse charges against children.

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore gymnastics instructor charged with inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl at the gym where he worked is accused of new offenses against another child.

Joseph R. Hannon, 21, of the 1700 block of DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore, appeared Friday in DeKalb County Court on new charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and a more serious charge of predatory criminal sexual assault. The victim in the new cases is a different 9-year-old girl, authorities said.

Judge Philip Montgomery doubled Hannon’s bond to $1 million, meaning Hannon would have to post $100,000 bail to be released. He remained in DeKalb County Jail on Friday evening.

Montgomery said the more serious charge, predatory criminal sexual assault against a child, is punishable by six to 30 years in prison, or up to 60 years if Hannon was convicted and found eligible for extended sentencing. The aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges could mean additional sentences of three to seven years, or up to 13 years with extended sentencing, Montgomery said.

Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault said the new charges were in connection with three separate incidents of inappropriate touching that occurred during a tumbling course Hannon taught over the summer at Energym, 1715 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore.

Montgomery said if Hannon posted bond, he would have to stay with his parents in DeKalb and have no contact with anyone younger thn 18.

Hannon was on probation for a felony drug offense at the time of the alleged crimes.

He was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in an incident in which he sold prescription drugs within 1,000 feet of a senior housing complex in DeKalb, according to court records.

Hannon had been renting an apartment from Energym owner Andy Morreale, but told the judge Thursday that he is no longer an employee of the gym and likely would not be allowed to continue living in the apartment. Morreale, who coaches the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op gymnastics team, said little about the alleged abuse when asked Friday.

“We’re working very closely with the Sycamore Police Department, but other than that I have no comment,” Morreale said before the start of a gymnastics meet Friday at DeKalb High School.

Hannon was first charged Wednesday with criminal sexual abuse, which carries a penalty of three to seven years in prison, in connection with a Nov. 25 incident at the Sycamore Energym. Police have said that in that incident he placed his hands on a child’s hips and pressed his lower body against her while she was bent over at a water fountain. Detectives obtained video footage of the incident, Theriault said.

Theriault said detectives are conducting victim-sensitive interviews with help from the DeKalb County Family Service Agency, and continue to ask people with information to come forward.

“This case is not over yet,” Theriault said. “Additional charges may be coming forth; we are just not there yet.”

Anyone concerned that their child might have been victimized should call the Sycamore Police Investigations Division at 815-895-3435 or the Genoa Police Department at 815-784-2526.

Hannon’s preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 6.

• Daily Chronicle Sports Editor Eddie Carifio contributed to this story.

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