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A roundup of Ogle County Court items

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Accused area child molester bonds out

OREGON – An Ogle County judge ruled last week that a former local minister charged with sexually molesting an 11-year-old will be allowed to return to his home.

Over the state’s objections, Judge Robert Hanson granted a defense motion Aug. 19 to modify bond conditions and allow Charles Babler, 65, of Mount Morris, to return home.

His next court hearing is Oct. 15.

Formerly the campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Polo, Babler was arrested June 21 on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, which carries 3 to 7 years in prison.

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

Prosecutors want Mitchell examined

OREGON – Prosecutors are looking for their own psychologist to examine a Leaf River man charged with attempted murder 2 years ago.

Ogle County Associate Judge John Redington granted the state’s motion for a continuance Monday in the case of Michael W. Mitchell, 29. Defense attorney Eric Morrow did not object.

Redington set a hearing for Sept. 23.

Ogle County State’s Attorney Michael Rock said he has read the report by the defense’s psychologist, and now will seek his own expert to evaluate him.

Mitchell is accused of stabbing David Zellers, then 50, and his wife, Denise, then 48, multiple times on July 3, 2011, after he broke into their Leaf River home just after 4:30 p.m. Both have since recovered from their injuries.

Mitchell is charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of home invasion, and four counts of aggravated battery. He is in Ogle County Jail on $1 million bond.

Private hearing set for Oregon woman

OREGON – A hearing has been scheduled allowing the attorneys to have a private discussion with the judge regarding a possible resolution to the case of an Oregon woman accused of misappropriating funds from the Byron Museum District.

Monday, Ogle County Court Judge John Redington granted a defense motion for a 402 conference for Jessica McCanse, 35, which will take place Sept. 6 before Judge Robert Hanson.

McCanse was arrested July 3, 2012, and charged with theft. According to court documents, she is accused of taking between $10,000 and $100,000 from the district between July 3, 2009 and February 2011, when she was the Byron Museum director.

She faces 3 to 7 years in prison.

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