A registered sex offender from Hillside pleaded not guilty to charges he improperly approached two Timothy Christian students in August.
James Bonafide, who remains held in DuPage County Jail on $99,999 bail, appeared in court Monday for arraignment on single counts of disorderly conduct and unlawful loitering near a school by a sex offender.
Elmhurst police arrested 39-year-old Bonafide at his Hillside home on Aug. 31 after a witness saw him approach two young female students at the school. During a bond-reduction hearing last month, prosecutors said Bonafide parked near the school around 10 a.m. that day, went up to the girls, each 8 years old, and made a lewd comment to them.
The witness confronted Bonafide about the incident, who claimed the girls had approached him, but also said he was having tire trouble. The witness got Bonafide’s license plate before he drove off.
Police tracked the plates to Bonafide in Hillside, where he again referenced tire trouble for being near the school. Police found nothing wrong with his car, according to prosecutors.
Bonafide, who returns to court Oct. 29, was arrested in 2007 on charges he fondled himself in front of children outside Hawthorne Elementary and Sandburg Middle schools. He later pleaded guilty to unlawful loitering by a sex offender, records show.
Bonafide’s sex offender registry profile indicates Cook County convictions for sexual exploitation of a child and public indecency. Although it is unclear when those incidents took place, the registry notes he was 29 at the time of the offense.