Crime

Alton man previously convicted of child sex abuse pleads guilty to new charges

Child sexual abuse statistics in the United States

One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
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One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

An Alton man has pleaded guilty to child sex assault charges nine years after he pleaded guilty to similar charges in another county.

Randal E. Bell, 58, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sexual assault in Madison County on Wednesday, a news release from the office of State’s Attorney Thomas D. Gibbons stated.

According to the release, Alton police had received a report that Bell made sexual contact with a minor under the age of 13 on November 20, 2017, and opened an investigation with the Madison County Child Advocacy Center.

During that investigation, police learned Bell had previously been convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in Macoupin County in 2010, the release stated. He was sentenced to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for that crime. and was released September 1, 2017.

On the recent charges, Bell was sentenced to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. According to the release, he will be serving 15 years for each consecutively and must serve 85 percent of the sentence. After that, he faces a mandatory supervised release term of anywhere from three years to life.

The plea agreement was reached after investigators consulted with the family and the now-adult victim of the Macoupin County case, the release stated. The agreement was set in place to ensure Bell will be incarcerated until he is over the age of 80 and the child victim will not have to testify in open court.

Hana Muslic has been working the public safety beat for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.


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