05 November 2007

Scumbags like this ...

(link) ... are why lynch mobs were invented.

Michael Rebecca is "one of the most narcissistic, manipulative and perverted individuals we have ever seen," Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran said Monday.

Rebecca, 50, of 750 Court of Birch, Apt. 1, Vernon Hills, faces four charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, State's Attorney Michael Waller said, and will likely face many more.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Because two victims were 11 years old, Waller said, Rebecca is eligible for life in prison.

Authorities say Rebecca told police he met his initial victim, a boy who was then 11 years old, in 2003 while working with a relative of the child.

That boy introduced him to others, police said Rebecca told them, and soon there were at least nine members of Rebecca's sex club.

Police said the boys were 11 to 13 years old when they first connected with Rebecca. They live in Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights and Elk Grove Village.

They spent weekends and longer with Rebecca because he was able to gain the trust of their families, Waller said.

"People who do this are very good at picking their victims and picking their victims' parents," Waller said. "When presented the opportunity to leave your child for the weekend with a 50-year-old man, most of us would say no, but these parents did not."

Boys were initiated into the club when Rebecca would strike them lightly with a gavel that police found during a search of his home, police said.

There were hundreds of sex acts between Rebecca and the boys over the years, police said, and at least two of the nine victims known to police said they had sex with Rebecca more than 50 times.

Police said he designed games around sex acts for the boys to play, such as "black light," in which Rebecca would turn on a black light outside his bedroom when he wanted to have sex.

The boys were ranked inside the club at various levels, police said, and those at the highest levels were allowed to spend more time with Rebecca than those at lower levels.

Rebecca, a computer programmer, plied his victims with money and electronic gifts, such as iPods, iPhones and computer games, police said, and allowed them to watch pornography at his home.

Investigators became involved when a 16-year-old boy who was feeling suicidal went to the sheriff's office and detailed his relationship with Rebecca.

Rebecca was taken into custody in Chicago late Friday afternoon and spent the weekend giving police the names of eight additional victims and details of his activities, police said.

In the search of Rebecca's home, police seized seven computers, nine independent hard drives and dozens of compact discs that are undergoing analysis.

Curran said police are concerned there may be additional victims and encouraged anyone with information about Rebecca to contact the sheriff's office, Vernon Hills police or the state's attorney's office.