The search for a Forreston man suspected of criminal sexual assault by Forreston police and the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department concluded after John H. Vaultonburg, 22, was apprehended on April 28.
Ogle County sheriff’s deputies arrested Vaultonburg at his residence in rural Forreston on April 28, just over a week after the public was notified that he had gone missing.
In mid-April, Forreston police responded to a report of sexual abuse of a minor. The initial investigation led to an interview with Vaultonburg. The day after the interview with police, Vaultonburg went missing, and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.
According to a statement released Wednesday by the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department, Vaultonburg fled to Florida for a short time before returning to his rural Forreston home.
Police received numerous phone calls about the case.
“The public was very instrumental in helping us,” Forreston Police Chief Mike Boomgarden said. “Throughout the process, we were able to track (Vaultonburg) because of the tips from the public.”
Boomgarden said the community’s help in tracking him, “took away much of the perceived threat to the public,” because police were aware when he left the area and when he returned.
Vaultonburg was charged with criminal sexual assault and transported to the Ogle County Jail. His original bond was set at $25,000, but a motion to reduce his bond was granted over the prosecution’s objection on April 29.
The bond was reduced to $5,000. Vaultonburg posted bond and was released under the instructions that he will live with his parents and cannot have any contact with the victim or anyone under 18 years of age. His preliminary hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. on May 18 in Courtroom 304 at the Ogle County Courthouse.
Vaultonburg allegedly “committed an act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct with a victim who was older than 13 years but less than 17, and the accused was at least 5 years older than the victim,” a statement from police said on April 20.
Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony and could carry a possible penalty of three to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Vaultonburg was previously charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse in 2006, but the charges were reduced to battery, a Class A misdemeanor.
Vaultonburg’s attorney could not be reached for comment.