A registered child sex offender from Elk Grove Village was ordered held on $2 million bail Thursday on charges he sexually abused a 9-year-old boy while playing hide-and-seek in a Bartlett park.
Ryan French, 35, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sexual abuse. If convicted, he faces from 18 to 90 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Video surveillance shows French at the Spring Lake Estates playground on Monday in the company of two children, said Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Maureen McGee. As a result of his 2009 conviction for sexually abusing a minor, French is prohibited from spending time in a public park where children are present.
While at the park, French "took notice" of a 9-year-old boy and eventually asked if he wanted to play hide-and-seek, McGee said. The boy agreed and French arranged a game with him, as well as the two children he brought to the park, McGee said.
The boy initially attempted to hide alone in a bush, but French took him to a nearby building with a narrow stairwell that led to an unused storm shelter, McGee said. There, under the guise of checking him for ticks, French molested the boy, who ran home crying, McGee said.
The boy told his sister what happened and said French was chasing him, McGee said. The sister called their parents and police, who located surveillance video showing "the defendant loitering at the playground," McGee said. The police returned to the playground, where neighborhood children told them French frequented the park with other kids, McGee said. Their investigation led police to French's mother, who agreed to bring him to the police station.
McGee said French admitted organizing the game to make one of the children he was with jealous. In a videotaped statement, French admitted sexually abusing that child more than 50 times over the last year in Schaumburg, said McGee. Police are currently investigating those claims, she said.
French, who must post the entire $2 million to be released from custody, next appears in court on Dec. 8.