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Man Pleads Guilty To Sexually Assaulting 7-Year-Old Girl

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) -- A resident of unincorporated Gurnee, who could have been sentenced to natural life in prison, will serve between 12 and 30 years for the sexual assault of two minors last year.

Under a negotiated agreement approved Tuesday by Lake County Judge James Booras, Nyasha Mbawa, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony that carries a penalty of six to 30 years in prison, or a term of up to life if extended.

Under the plea deal, a minimum of 12 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years will be imposed on Mbawa at his sentencing hearing June 18.

The count to which Mbawa pleaded guilty related to the sexual assault of a 7-year-old girl last summer.

In return for his plea, prosecutors dropped 16 other counts of predatory criminal sexual assault against Mbawa.

Police and Assistant State's Attorney John Brown said there were two minor victims involved in the case against Mbawa. He could have faced a sentence of up to life in prison if convicted on the charges at trial.

Booras ordered a presentence investigation report and a sex offender evaluation and report for Mbawa, both of which will be taken into consideration at the sentencing hearing. The judge noted Mbawa may be required to register as a sex offender for life and serve a minimum of three years to a maximum of life on parole after his release.

Defense Attorney Jed Stone said he will submit other relevant information at the sentencing hearing, including information that Mbawa had himself been molested as a minor.

"At sentencing, the judge will hear, as in so many cases of this type, that (Mbawa) was a victim of sexual abuse as a child," Stone said after his client pleaded guilty.

Mbawa was living in an apartment complex in Grandwood Park last July when he was arrested by Lake County Sheriff's deputies and charged with several counts of predatory criminal sexual assault against a child.

Additional counts were added after an investigation led to the second victim.

According to police reports, the mother of one of the alleged victims told authorities that her daughter was the victim of an assault and that the daughter had said Mbawa had inappropriate sexual contact with her.

Mbawa admitted that he had sexual contact with the girl and a second victim, according to the sheriff's office.

Mbawa had been scheduled for trial May 2. He is being held in Lake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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