CICERO – A former kindergarten teacher sought by police since 2005 for the sexual assault of a female student at Woodbine School in Cicero was recently found and charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault.
Police say more charges may be coming.
Roberto A. Aguilar, 55, was found living in Salinas, Calif. and arrested Oct. 15. Aguilar was formally charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault on Oct. 20, after he was arrested by Salinas police and Cicero police acting on two warrants issued by Cicero police.
Aguilar waived extradition Oct. 19 and voluntarily returned to Illinois with detectives from the Cicero Police Department. Aguilar appeared in a preliminary hearing Tuesday.
Cicero Deputy Superintendent of Investigations Jose Gonzalez said the arrest of Aguilar is bittersweet compared to the crime.
“I feel bad this happened and does happen," Gonzalez said. "But I'm proud of the way the department continued to pursue and investigate the case, and that it ended with the arrest of someone who had the trust of these children and violated that trust. He'll now face the consequences of his actions.”
On Nov. 10, 2005, the investigation began with a forensic interview when the child, then 9 years old, alleged that Aguilar, who was formerly her kindergarten teacher, had sexually abused her between the years of 2001 and 2002.
Gonzalez said Aguilar had already resigned from the school and school officials told police he had taken a teaching position in the Dominican Republic. Police then verified through the Department of Immigration and Customs that Aguilar had indeed fled and taken residence in that country. At that point, the investigation went cold, Gonzalez said.
Then, on Sept. 13, a second victim came forward to police, who claimed she was assaulted by Aguilar at Woodbine School when she was about the same age as the other student and during the same period between 2001 and 2002.
"As she got older, and understood what happened, she knew it wasn't right,” Gonzalez said.
Investigators began searching police databases for any sign of Aguilar, and found him in Salinas, Calif.
A review of the case by the Illinois State's Attorney's Office resulted in two arrest warrants for Aguilar, Gonzalez said. Monterrey County police began a surveillance of Aguilar after being contacted and briefed, and verifying his residency. He was then taken into custody.
Gonzalez praised detectives Alberto Pelayo, Matt Ramirez and Sgt. Rudolfo Flores for their perseverance in pursuing the case, as well as officers in California for their assistance.