Fire­fighter ac­cused of mo­lest­ing 3 kids

‘BIZARRE’ Charged with hang­ing them from wall

Chicago Sun-Times - - News In Brief Metro - BY RUMMANA HUS­SAIN

Pros­e­cu­tors re­vealed shock­ing mo­lesta­tion al­le­ga­tions against a Chicago fire­fighter Wed­nes­day, claim­ing he sex­u­ally as­saulted three young chil­dren for about a year in his Lit­tle Vil­lage base­ment apart­ment.

Jose Moreno, 48, is ac­cused of sus­pend­ing the chil­dren from pegs on his wall while he mo­lested them, pros­e­cu­tors said.

A Cook County judge or­dered Moreno, a fire­fighter since 2005, held without bail Wed­nes­day.

Moreno is charged with mo­lest­ing a 3-year-old girl and boys ages 5 and 6 in the build­ing he owns in the 2500 block of South Mil­lard, As­sis­tant Cook County State’s At­tor­ney Kevin Nolan said.

Of­ten, the chil­dren would wit­ness the at­tacks on each other, Nolan added.

Moreno watched the chil­dren three to four days a week for three to four hours a day, Nolan said.

The chil­dren live near Moreno but are not re­lated to him, ac­cord­ing to au­thor­i­ties.

When po­lice ex­e­cuted a search war­rant in Moreno’s apart­ment, they noted holes bored into the walls and re­cov­ered pegs used for hang­ing the vic­tims, chil­dren’s un­der­wear, child pornog­ra­phy and pic­tures Moreno said he took of dolls sim­u­lat­ing sex acts, Nolan said. Of­fi­cers also re­cov­ered a gun, Nolan said.

Moreno has been charged with three counts of preda­tory crim­i­nal sex­ual as­sault of a child for the al­leged at­tacks that took place be­tween Feb. 1, 2007, and Dec. 11. He was also charged with vi­o­lat­ing the city’s gun or­di­nance, a mis­de­meanor.

Moreno told po­lice he is sex­u­ally at­tracted to girls un­der 12 and even de­scribed the 3-year-old vic­tim as a “pretty girl with a pretty face,” Nolan said.

Moreno’s at­tor­ney, Gal Pis­set­zky, called the ac­cu­sa­tions “bizarre” and, at the bond hear­ing, de­scribed his client as an up­stand­ing ci­ti­zen.

Moreno, a mem­ber of the Fire Depart­ment’s Unit 5, served in the U.S. Army and re­ceived a unit merit award, Pis­set­zky said.

“This per­son is a re­mark­able in­di­vid­ual,” his lawyer said. “He can­not wait to clear his name.”

Moreno has been on ad­min­is­tra­tive leave with pay, Chicago Fire Depart­ment spokesman Larry Lang­ford said.

Lang­ford noted that the man ac­cused of the crimes should not be con­fused with a Fire Depart­ment cap­tain with the same name.

If con­victed, Moreno could serve life in prison. He has no crim­i­nal back­ground.

The Illi­nois Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vices is in­ves­ti­gat­ing, and the chil­dren re­main in the care of their fam­i­lies, depart­ment spokesman Ken­dall Mar­lowe said.

Jose Moreno, a Chicago fire­fighter since 2005, is ac­cused of mo­lest­ing a 3-year-old girl and boys ages 5 and 6.

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