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Former minister enters guilty plea

Charles Babler
Charles Babler

A former minister pleaded guilty June 30 to the aggravated battery of a child.

Charles Babler, 65, Mt. Morris, was originally charged with sexually molesting an 11-year-old child.

"He pled guilty to a different charge Monday," said Ogle County Assistant States Attorney Joshua Versluys. "He received 18 months probation and has all the normal conditions of probation."

Conditions include no alcohol, no drugs, and no contact with the victim.

The charge of sexually molesting the child was dismissed per the plea agreement.

"Babler will receive sex offender counseling and he will need to register as a violent offender against youth," said Versluys.

The aggravated battery is a Class 3 felony.

"He can not be in a position of authority with children," said Versluys.

Following the court appearance, Babler reported to the probation department.

The case stemmed from an investigation into a single incident that took place in early 2011.

A jury trial was originally set for June 17 before Babler's attorney David Tess asked for a date for a plea agreement.

Babler was formerly the campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church, Polo.

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