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Local

Minister pleads not guilty to abuse

Charles Babler
Charles Babler

OREGON – A minister has pleaded not guilty to sexually molesting an 11-year-old.

Charles Babler, 64, of Mount Morris, formerly campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Polo, was arrested June 21 and charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He entered his plea Thursday; he faces 3 to 7 years if convicted.

His next hearing is Aug. 12. His attorney, Kathleen Isley, had asked for it to be set in September to allow Babler time to undergo a psychosexual evaluation, but Assistant State’s Attorney Aaron Wiles objected, saying that would delay the case too long.

Judge Robert Hanson did grant Babler’s request for a bond modification to allow him to leave the state for doctor appointments in Monroe, Wis.

Sheriff Michael Harn said last week that the arrest stemmed from an ongoing investigation into a single incident that took place in early 2011.

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