Hearing set for man facing 17 counts of sex assault
By Jim Newton email@example.com @JimNewton5 January 29, 2014 12:35PM
Updated: March 3, 2014 3:56PM
A pretrial hearing is scheduled Tuesday for a 19-year-old Gurnee man facing the possibility of life in prison as the number of felony counts of sexual assault against him have increased for allegedly having sexual contact with two young victims.
Nyasha Mbawa, whose trial date has been delayed three times since his arrest last summer, faces a total of 17 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault against a child under the age of 13, Class X felonies, for allegedly having sexual contact with two female victims.
Mbawa, who was living in a Grandwood Park apartment when he was arrested by Lake County Sheriff’s deputies, was originally charged with three counts of that charge last summer.
Four more counts were added after the investigation led to the second alleged victim and the counts were finally increased to 17 although the number of alleged victims has not changed.
Mbawa has pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial is currently scheduled for March 14, and he is being held in Lake County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond.
According to police, the mother of one of the alleged victims told authorities that her daughter was the victim of an assault and that the daughter had said Mbawa had inappropriate sexual contact with her.
He was arrested by sheriff’s deputies July 16.
According to the sheriff’s office, Mbawa admitted that he had sexual contact with the girl and a second victim.
Some of the delays in the case were requested by Mbawa’s defense attorney, Jed Stone, who requested more time to review grand jury notes and other evidence in the case, noting that the Class X felonies against him call for a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.