A registered sex offender knew the cops were onto him for molesting a child and was about to leave town, but instead hid out in a crawlspace when the law showed up at his door, police said.
James Robinson, 34, of 1023 Arthur Ave. was captured and jailed on three counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child after he emerged from the crawlspace about 3 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Joliet police Detective Tizoc Landeros said Robinson sexually assaulted his 10-year-old stepdaughter. He allegedly attacked the girl while her mother was away.
Robinson is a registered sex offender. He was reportedly found guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 2001.
Landeros said police learned on Thursday that Robinson was planning on making a break for it, so officers headed over to his home to arrest him.
Officers reportedly were able to get Robinson's mother—who also lives in the house—out safely, but Robinson was staying put.
The police gained entry to the house and determined Robinson was hiding in a crawlspace below a under a stairwell. Officers then called for a police dog to flush Robinson from the crawlspace but he came out before the animal arrived, police said.
"He did give up," said Police Chief Mike Trafton. "We brought him down (to the station) and he denied any sexual contact with the victim."
Landeros said the girl revealed in a victim-sensitive interview how she was assaulted. He said she would not have been able to provide the information she did "without living through it."