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Crime & Courts

More charges expected against Sycamore gymnastics instructor

Joseph R. Hannon, 21, of the 1700 block of DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, was charged Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
Joseph R. Hannon, 21, of the 1700 block of DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, was charged Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, with aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

SYCAMORE – Police expect more charges will be filed as they continue to investigate a 21-year-old man accused of molesting children at a local gymnastics facility, Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault said Monday.

Police already have identified two children who they said were inappropriately touched by Joseph R. Hannon of Sycamore at Energym, 1715 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore. Hannon worked as a gymnastics instructor at both Energym’s Sycamore and Genoa facilities for about a year and a half, Theriault said.

“Our entire investigative division is still dedicated to this case,” Theriault said. “We continue to interview potential victims and witnesses. We anticipate more charges to be brought forth in the coming weeks and are focusing now on identifying victims and providing resources to anyone affected by this case, whether or not they are actual victims.”

Hannon has been jailed since Wednesday, when he was charged with criminal sexual abuse in connection with a Nov. 25 incident where he was caught on video inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl during an open gym session, police said.

On Friday, his bond was doubled to $1 million after new sex abuse charges and a charge of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child were filed against him. The new charges were in connection with three incidents that occurred over the summer with a different victim who was in a tumbling course Hannon coached, authorities said.

If convicted of the most serious charge, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, Hannon could face up to 60 years in prison. He is being held in the DeKalb County Jail and would have to post $100,000 cash to be released.  

Court records show Hannon was on probation for a felony drug charge while he was working at Energym. He pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of a controlled substance in connection with an October 2013 incident in which he sold the prescription drug Xanax within 1,000 feet of a senior housing complex in DeKalb.

While on probation, he tested positive for marijuana use in May 2015, and failed to submit two other drug tests, according to court records. He also was arrested for petty offenses including retail theft in March 2015 and charges of resisting a police officer and possession of marijuana in August 2015.

On Saturday morning, Sycamore police held a meeting with about 20 people whose children had the most contact with Hannon at Energym.

“We held the meeting to give the opportunity for those most impacted by this to ask questions, and we may hold future ones if we find other affected groups that want to discuss the situation,” Theriault said.

Police are continuing to work on the investigation with Genoa police and the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, with help from the Children’s Advocacy Center, which has provided specialized interviewers to conduct child-sensitive interviews, Theriault said.

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.

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