Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 22, 2013

Bond set at $1 million for man charged with child sex crimes

An Effingham man was charged Thursday with 22 counts of child sex crimes that prosecutors say took place over more than a decade and include multiple victims.

Judge Ericka Sanders set bond at $1 million for James D. Zumbahlen, 50, during a Thursday morning appearance in Effingham County Circuit Court. Sanders also set bond conditions that include no contact with anybody under 18 years of age, as well as none of the alleged victims in the case.

Alleged victims in the case are both male and female, according to court records. Zumbahlen is accused of performing oral, vaginal and anal sex with alleged victims, all of whom were under age 17 at the time of the alleged offenses.

The most serious charges are predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. In those charges, Zumbahlen is accused of engaging in “acts of sexual penetration” with children under age 13.

In all, Zumbahlen is charged with 12 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child; six counts of criminal sexual assault, in which he is accused of engaging in sexual acts with teenagers; and two counts each of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say the alleged offenses took place between 1993 and 2011.

Special Prosecutor David Rands entered his appearance Thursday on behalf of the state because State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler represented both Zumbahlen and some of the alleged victims before being elected.

Zumbahlen told Sanders that he planned to contact a private attorney. The judge set the next court appearance in the case for 10 a.m. April 10.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com.

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