By George Houde
Special to the Tribune
2:29 PM CDT, June 28, 2013
Saying a 52-year-old Elgin man committed “unthinkable acts” against a young girl, a Cook County Circuit Court judge today found him guilty of raping and taking pornographic photos of her.
Randall Behning faces at least 28 years in prison after being convicted by Judge Joel Greenblatt of multiple counts of predatory criminal sexual assault, sexual abuse and child pornography.
During the three day bench trial in Rolling Meadows branch court, witnesses testified that Behning began abusing the girl in 2007, when she was 12. In 2011, she told her mother of the abuse and Behning, of the 0-100 block of Allen Drive, was arrested after an Elgin police investigation.
The victim, now 18, testified that Behning coerced her to submit to sex and at one point solicited another man to have sex with her. That man also testified, saying that Behning had a computer flash drive with a slide show of pornographic photos of the girl.
The flash drive was never found by authorities, but one photo, which Greenblatt described as child pornography, was found on Behning’s computer.
Testifying during the trial, Behning denied the allegations, and defense attorneys argued that the girl took the photos herself. They called into question her credibility and that of other prosecution witnesses. Defense witnesses testified that Behning was an army veteran and a good citizen.
Greenblatt said he believed the girl’s story and that Behning groomed her to submit.
“These are the acts of a sexual predator,” said Greenblatt.
Defense attorney Fred Morelli said he plans to appeal. Greenblatt set sentencing for Aug. 30.
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC