53-year-old man convicted of molesting child offered candy, took her on bike rides, prosecutors said

David Tapley

A Crystal Lake man showed no reaction as a McHenry County jury recently convicted him on three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a young female relative over a span of about five years.

David J. Tapley, 53, who was found not guilty of one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of the same girl, faces a maximum of 14 years when sentenced Nov. 16.

She was between the ages of 8 or 9 and 14 years old during the times he inappropriately touched her breasts and genitals, prosecutors said.

The girl, now 17, with her therapy dog nearby, testified this week that Tapley inappropriately touched her the first time when she was 8 or 9 years old during times he drove her to and from choir practice. Other incidents occurred during bike rides, at Easter 2015 and during her 8th grade graduation party in May of 2015.

However, the not-guilty finding was related to the accusation he abused her during the graduation party.

The accounts came to light after the girl posted about the abuse on an online chat board. An adult saw what she was writing and contacted local police who contacted the girl’s parents.

Tapley often would ride his bike to visit the girl in the early mornings before school at her bus stop, talk to her, and as he did in the car rides and on other outings, he gave her candy.

During the times of the alleged abuse, other children were around including family parties and on the bike rides, but several testified they never saw anything inappropriate between them.

However, prosecutors said that is because he also gave them candy and distracted them by letting them play games on his electronic devices, and covered the two of them up with a blanket or jacket.

Tapley took the stand in his defense and said he never was alone with the girl and  repeatedly denied all charges saying “I absolutely did not do that” and  “I never touched her in her genitals or her breasts … not anytime ever.”

Of always giving the girl and the other children their favorite candy Tapley said “candy is delicious” and looked at the jury.

But in closing arguments Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said the victim “was his candy.” And the first time he abused her he first asked “May I?” Eisenstein also said that Tapley told the girl if he couldn’t touch her he would kill himself.

While Eisenstein presented her closing arguments to the jury, Tapley shook his head “no” at each incriminating accusation.

She said the girl made statements that she would ”be dead before it came out” and was both “shocked and relieved” when police contacted her family.

However, Tapley’s lawyer Francisco Botto said the allegations are mere “fantasy and finger pointing.” He said the girl’s online postings were lies and there is neither evidence nor witnesses to back up her stories.

“Sometimes lies and stories get out of control and it’s hard to pull it back,” Botto said in closing arguments. He said prosecutors are taking innocent gestures and making them look inappropriate.

“They are trying to portray him as a monster,” Botto said. “This is a sequel, a by-product of (the girl’s) on-line fantasies.”

Tapley’s bond was revoked and he was immediately remanded to county jail to await his sentencing.

 

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