Man charged with sexually assaulting teen he babysat

Man charged with sexually assaulting teen he babysat

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Howard Pondexter / photo from Chicago Police Howard Pondexter / photo from Chicago Police
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A Washington Heights neighborhood man accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl while babysitting her last December was ordered held on a $500,000 bond Friday.

Howard Pondexter, 52, of the 9500 block of South Winston Avenue is charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, police said.

Prosecutors claim Pondexter first assaulted the girl Dec. 9 at his home, after her mother dropped her off so he could babysit, a statement from the Cook County State's Attorney's office said.

He told the girl to go to his bedroom to do homework, then fondled and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

He then sexually assaulted her a second time Dec. 16, also when he was watching the girl at his home, the statement said.

Though he told the girl he would get in trouble if she told anyone, she finally told a relative,who called police. Investigators found sexually explicit text messages on the girl's phone sent by Pondexter, prosecutors claim.

Judge Israel Desierto ordered Pondexter held on $500,000 and set a preliminary hearing for March 12.

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