November 24, 2008

A Zion man accused of sexually assaulting three young boys for the better part of a decade was arrested by sheriff's officials Sunday.

John K. Hunter, 36 of 41606 N. Ravine Drive, has been charged with two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Police say he molested and raped three pre-teen-aged boys since they were 6-years-old. Police are investigating whether more victims exist.

Police were alerted to Hunter earlier this month, when his former roommate, who is a relative of one of the boys, told police about the abuse, said Lake County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Christopher Thompson.

All the victims were family friends of Hunter. The abuse, which ranged from touching, to him performing sex acts, was at one point occurring on a weekly basis, Thompson said.

During the seven years of abuse Hunter offered the boys gifts in exchange for them not telling their parents, Thompson said.

Hunter is being held in the Lake County Jail on $750,000 bond. He faces up to 30 years in prison for the sex assault charges.