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Elmhurst Man Known for His Work with Troubled Youth Accused of Sexually Assaulting a 15-year-old

Zale Hoddenbach, a former gang member who most recently worked to steer youth away from violence, is a father of five.

A 42-year-old Elmhurst resident was charged last week with criminal sexual assault of a minor in his supervisory care, Cook County prosecutors said.

According to a story in the Chicago Sun-Times, in October 2010, Zale Hoddenbach allegedly took the girl, whom he met a year prior when she was in eighth grade, to a Chicago home that he owns. There, he allegedly took pictures of her having sex with another woman. He also allegedly engaged in sexual activity with her for nearly a year and gave her cash and clothing in exchange for the trysts.

Hoddenbach was a gang member in Chicago for 15 years, according to a biography on Northwestern University's Web site. He has a criminal record that includes burglary and delivery of a controlled substance, and he served 10 years in the Pontiac Correctional Center for gang-related crimes.

Hoddenbach, who reportedly had turned his life around, was a speaker at an NU event in September 2009 titled, Chicago Stories: Violence and the Ethics of Urban Health Care.

He most recently has been working with CeaseFire as a "violence Interrupter." He also is a former Boys & Girls Club counselor.

He was featured in a May 4, 2008, New York Times article, and again on BBC radio in July 2008 for his work with youth.

According to DuPage County court records, Hoddenbach, who is listed with a South York Road address, also was arrested for domestic violence in 2005, but the case was dropped because a witness didn't show up for trial.

Hoddenbach turned himself in to police Oct. 17. He denies the allegations.

Calls to Hoddenbach's attorney were not immediately returned.

Patch reports on law enforcement activity using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or a family member are charged with a crime or cited for a violation and the charge or citation is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to contact karenc@patch.com and we will do follow-up reporting on the case. 

Stewart Levine October 27, 2011 at 07:36 PM
was this woman who had sex with the girl arrested too for statutory rape too?

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