Bond Revoked for Elmhurst Man Accused of Sexual Assault
Zale Hoddenbach allegedly contacted a minor in violation of his bond restrictions.
Zale Hoddenbach, a former Chicago gang member who received national media attention for his efforts to stop inner-city violence, is being held without bail in the Cook County Jail pending arraignment on a charge of violating the conditions of his bond while awaiting trial for sexual assault.
According to Cook County State’s Attorney Spokesperson Andy Conklin, the 42-year-old Hoddenbach had his bond revoked on Nov. 7 for contacting a minor via email. Conklin noted that the minor was not the victim of the sexual assault allegedly committed by Hoddenbach.
Hoddenbach, who has homes in Chicago and Elmhurst, was arrested in October for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl. Cook County prosecutors told Judge Israel Desierto that the teenager came to Hoddenbach seeking job advice last year. Hoddenbach, a former Boys & Girls Club counselor, allegedly told the girl she could make money by participating in the creation of pornographic photos.
Prosecutors alleged that Hoddenbach took photos of the girl, now 16, engaged in sexual activities and that he gave her cash, shoes and clothing in exchange for sexual encounters that took place between the two from April to September of this year at his home in Chicago and at motels in Northbrook. When the girl decided to break off the relationship, Hoddenbach threatened to spread the photos to others, according to prosecutors.
The girl then told a school counselor about the abuse, leading to a warrant for Hoddenbach’s arrest. He turned himself in to authorities on Oct. 17.
Desierto ordered Hoddenbach held in lieu of $150,000 bond. After making bail, Hoddenbach allegedly contacted a minor by email. When prosecutors learned of the contact, they asked a judge to revoke Hoddenbach’s bond.
Hoddenbach was scheduled to be arraigned before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Nicholas Ford Thursday, but Ford was not in court, leading to a continuation of the case to Monday.
In 2008, Hoddenbach was featured in a New York Times Magazine article for his work as a “violence interrupter” for CeaseFire, an organization based at the University of Illinois at Chicago that works to stop shootings and killings. The article noted Hoddenbach’s own criminal history of violence.
In 2009, Hoddenbach was a panelist at a Northwestern University conference on “Violence and the Ethics of Urban Health Care.” According to a biography posted by the university, Hoddenbach spent more than 15 years as a member of a “Chicago Hispanic street gang” and served 10 years in prison for gang-related violence.
Hoddenbach is married and has five children.