CHICAGO (jGLi) — Nearly two years ago, 70-year-old Filipino American Loreto M. Gaspar sat at a table beside a nine-year-old schoolgirl in his workplace at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Gaspar told the girl he liked to touch little girls as he rubbed her thigh and touched her arm.
Gaspar later asked for her phone number and the girl gave him a made-up phone number. When Gaspar gave her money, the girl started to cry, telling her mother, Gaspar’s co-worker, what Gaspar told her.
Three days later on June 16, 2010, Gaspar was arrested for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and battery charges. Two months later on Aug. 12, 2010, following a bench trial, Gaspar was found not guilty by Judge Marvin Luckman of the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago.
Less than two months later, Gaspar met a seven-and-a-half-year old schoolgirl at a greeting card section of Target store in the northside of Chicago (at 2112 West Peterson Avenue). The girl said a man, who turned out to be Gaspar, kept following her and touched her “private part” over her clothes. When asked where her private part was, the girl pointed to her groin area.
The girl said the man “did not move it around. His hand stayed still.” She was wearing a skirt and sandals. She was not touched in other part of her body. And he told her “he loved her.”
The girl described the man as “Filipino and old,” wearing a dark blue Cubs hat, a short-sleeved dark blue shirt with a green crocodile on it and maybe gray pants and gym shoes.
He motioned for her to go with him by the “girl’s clothes” section but she refused and told her mother what happened instead.
As soon as her mother knew what happened, her mother called the store’s security, which mounted a search for the man.
RETURNED TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME
Six days later, on Oct. 13, 2010, the store security officers remembered the description of the man on surveillance video when they saw the man again in the store. The officers immediately called the police while they obtained a “license plate of the vehicle the defendant was driving.”
The man, who turned out to be Gaspar of 1700 block of West Balmoral in Chicago’s northside, was arrested five days later on Oct. 18, 2010 and was indicted eight days later on charges of battery, two counts of “criminal sexual abuse force,” and four counts of “criminal sexual abuse/can’t consent.”
When arraigned by Judge Charles P. Burns, Gaspar pleaded not guilty on Nov. 16, 2010.
After almost a year-and-half of pre-trial hearings, last April 12, Gaspar pleaded guilty to battery and Judge Burns sentenced Gaspar to two-year probation and advised Gaspar that he has a right to appeal his sentence.
Gaspar was also ordered by Judge Burns not to have contact with children and to surrender his passport. Gaspar was also ordered to surrender or not to possess any firearm; not to contact or communicate with any complaining witnesses or members of their families, not to go to the area or premises of victims/complaining witnesses’ home, work, school, not to drink liquor and not to take illegal drug, submit to random drug testing, DNA indexing and “no contact with minors except family members.”
He was also ordered not to leave the State of Illinois without the consent of the court or the monitoring agency, not to commit any crime, and to comply with reporting and treatment requirements as determined by adult Probation Department assessment.
Gaspar let his lawyer Steven H. Fine collect his $10,000 cash bond.
Gaspar escaped the charges of criminal sexual abuse, which is a Class A misdemeanor, or a second or subsequent conviction, which would have been a Class 2 felony (punishable by three to seven years in prison and fines up to $25,000) and an increased acts of criminal sexual abuse would have been a Class 4 felony (a minimum prison term of one year).
Attorney Fine told this reporter he has no comment. This reporter called Gaspar’s phone number but could not leave a message.(firstname.lastname@example.org)