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Grayslake man takes plea in predatory sex assault of girl

Eric Matthew Hopkins

Eric Matthew Hopkins

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Updated: January 20, 2013 6:20AM

A 9-year-old girl was spared from having to testify in court about the sexual act a 41-year-old Grayslake man tried to commit with her earlier this year.

That’s because Eric Hopkins took a plea deal before Circuit Judge Victoria Rossetti Tuesday.

He pleaded guilty to attempted predatory criminal sexual assault for the May 26 incident.

The man’s now ex-wife caught him trying to commit a sex act with the minor in the bedroom of their Grayslake residence, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Eric Kalata.

Hopkins was charged with multiple counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Lake County Sheriff’s deputies learned about the assault and turned evidence over to Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office, who then filed charges. He was arrested June 8.

Hopkins pleaded guilty to a reduced charge. He now faces four to 15 years in prison.

Probation is also a possible sentence. If he had not pleaded guilty, he faced six to 30 years in prison. Probation was not an option with the original charge, Rossetti said.

Hopkins will also have to register as a sex offender because of the plea, Rossetti said.

He took an open plea, meaning Rossetti will determine his sentence at a hearing January 14.

Hopkins is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bond.

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