(CHICAGO) A former Chicago firefighter was sentenced to two years of probation Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to molesting five children he had baby-sat in his Little Village apartment.
Jose Moreno pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from his 2008 arrest for allegedly attacking the children who were in his care for three to four hours a day several days a week.
Moreno, now 54, had been on the fire department since 2005, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Fire Department officials said Wednesday they believe that Moreno is no longer with the department.
Moreno has been diagnosed with leukemia, and under conditions of his probation, he is allowed to leave the jurisdiction to receive a stem-cell transplant at a hospital in Seattle.
All of Moreno’s victims were under 9, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Elizabeth Ciaccia said.
Moreno allegedly suspended some of the children from pegs on his wall while he molested them in his basement apartment in the building he owned in the 2500 block of South Millard Avenue.
Often, the children would witness the attacks on each other, prosecutors said.
Authorities think Moreno had been molesting the children as early as 2007.
Prosecutors said police noted holes in Moreno’s walls and recovered pegs used for hanging the victims; children’s underwear; child pornography; and pictures Moreno said he took of dolls simulating sex acts.
Officers also recovered a gun.
At the time of his arrest, Moreno told police he was sexually attracted to girls under 12 and even described one victim — then age 3 — as a “pretty girl with a pretty face.”
— Chicago Sun-Times