A Joliet man who allegedly fondled two young girls and had them touch him sexually was arrested Monday on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Joliet Police Cmdr. Rich Demick said.
Theodore Edwards Harris, 39, of 330 S. Joliet St., is accused of having sexual contact with the victims, who are now 11 and 15 years old, on numerous occasions in 2011, Demick said. Harris is described as a family member of the victims.
Harris was arrested Monday night at his residence.
Demick said the case took a long time to pull together because detectives want to ensure there were no other victims and because Harris was not a threat to other potential victims while serving a prison term at Shawnee Correctional Center at the time the allegations became known.
There were also problems with getting statements and other evidence from the girls because their mother missed appointments and was difficult to get on the phone, Demick said.
Harris was in prison until June 2012 after being convicted for robbery and aggravated battery incidents that occurred in 2004, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He was also previously in prison on a six-year term stemming from a 1994 arrest for manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance, records show.
Harris is currently being held in the Will County jail on lieu of $100,000 bond.