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No Bail for Bozo

Chicago- A Chicago man who worked as a clown at children’s parties was convicted Thursday by a DuPage County judge of molesting a 4-year-old former La Grange Park girl in 2000.

Timothy Merten, 52, who performed as Mr. Toy, was convicted after a two-day bench trial before Judge Robert Anderson.

“The facts of this case aren’t complicated,” Anderson said. “Clearly something happened to this girl, and Tim Merten did it.”

Merten was driving the girl and her adult baby-sitter, a friend of Merten’s, on errands on July 7, 2000.

While the woman visited another friend in Downers Grove and left the child alone with Merten, touched her inappropriately in the back seat of his car, said Assistant State’s Atty. Liam Brennan.

That day, the girl told her father of the incident, and he took her to La Grange Memorial Hospital. Hospital personnel called police.

The next day, Merten’s confession to police was audiotaped.

The girl, who has moved to Michigan, testified on Wednesday, stating she couldn’t recall Merten or the incident.

Anderson found Merten guilty of aggravated criminal sexual assault and predatory sexual exploitation of a child based on the testimony of the girl’s father, the emergency room doctor and police, all of whom testified that the girl told them separately within 24 hours about the molestation.

Merten testified on his own behalf Thursday, saying that the girl lied about everything and that he confessed to appease police.

“I was told that making the statement would help the little girl get help quickly,” Merten said.

Also, two other young girls testified Thursday that when they were about 4, Merten fondled them.

Anderson will sentence Merten June 27.

Brennan said Thursday that because Merten had served a prison sentence in Texas for sexually abusing a young girl, he faces 15 to 120 years in prison.

 

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