By Steve Schmadeke and Liam Ford
A Chicago police officer was in jail Friday night, accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl who is a member of his extended family, authorities said.
Daniel Aguilera, 57, who records show is a 22-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, was ordered held in lieu of $75,000 in a hearing earlier Friday before Cook County Criminal Court Judge Israel Desierto. Aguilera is charged with sexual assault and sexual abuse.
Aguilera is accused of sexually assaulting and sexually abusing the girl at his Southwest Side home early on Jan. 1, while they were at the home alone, according to prosecutors. After the attacks, the girl tried to leave the house with the excuse she was walking the Aguilera’s family dog, but Aguilera followed her outside and called her back into the house, according to Assistant State’s attorney Anastasia Harper.
When Aguilera’s wife returned home in the morning, the girl told her what happened, and she drove the girl to another family member’s house, with Aguilera following in another car, prosecutors said. In a family meeting, Aguilera admitted he had massaged the girl with lotion, prosecutors said.
Aguilera’s attorney, Joseph Pavone, said that Aguilera has numerous commendations and has been married for 19 years.
“This man is appalled that she would make these false accusations,” Pavone said.
Pavone said the officer also has volunteered for two years with the Chicago Area Runners Association, helping kids train to run half marathons. “He’s actually a pillar of the community.”
Outside court, Pavone said he would challenge the judge’s ruling that Aguilera would have to surrender his weapons, including his service weapon, which would prevent the officer from working desk duty while the case is pending.