COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — An elderly man was ordered held on $300,000 bond Friday after he allegedly fondled a young child in an Uptown grocery store.
Prosecutors said Loreto Gaspar, 71, was in the Viet Hoa grocery store, 1051 West Argyle Street, when he sexual assaulted an 8-year-old girl last month.
Gaspar had befriended the girl's mother, who he had previously met at the grocery store, prosecutors said.
On August 8, Gaspar allegedly touched the girl's genital area at least three times while her mother was busy shopping. A store employee who spotted what Gaspar was doing recorded part of the assault on a cell phone, prosecutors said.
At some point, the girl's mom turned and caught Gaspar with her daughter. When the woman asked her daughter if Gaspar had touched her, Gaspar ran out of the store, prosecutors said.
Gaspar, who is from the Philippines, had previously been arrested three times on similar charges prosecutors said, including in 2010 when he pleaded guilty to fondling a 9-year-old girl in a Target.
Prosecutors said Gaspar was still on probation for that conviction when he was arrested.
Gaspar was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child under the age of 13 years old, a felony.
Cook County Judge Adam Bourgeois ordered Gaspar held on $300,000.
"And if you post $30,000 you don't qualify for the services of the public defender," Bourgeois said. "Go get yourself a lawyer."