Rockford College professor pleads guilty to three counts of criminal sexual abuse
From staff reports
Rockford College economics and business ethics professor Robert Von der Ohe, 69, pled guilty to three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Dec. 1.
The guilty plea was part of a plea agreement reached with Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato’s office. Bruscato is asking for a six-month jail sentence, which would serve as Von der Ohe’s probation.
Since Judge Joe McGraw is treating the agreement as an open plea, a stronger sentence of as many as seven years for each count is still possible.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of three to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, or up to four years probation with mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.
As an additional condition of his bond, Von der Ohe was ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with any of the victims or any children younger than 18.
Von der Ohe was arrested in 2008 after an alleged incident involving a 13-year-old girl. Further investigation revealed three incidents occurred between 2000 and 2008. None of the incidents involved a student or family member, although Von der Ohe reportedly knew the victims.
Von der Ohe has been on administrative duty at Rockford College since the charges were announced.
Sentencing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., Feb. 4, in courtroom 467 with Judge McGraw.
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