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Anita Alvarez
Cook County State's Attorney
Communications Department
Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 603-3423


February 21, 2014

Former Counselor Convicted Of
Criminal Sexual Assault Of Teenage Victim

A former counselor for the Boys and Girls Club of America has been convicted of committing numerous sex acts against a young girl he met when the teen came to the social service agency seeking job referral services, according to the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

Zale Hoddenbach, 45, was convicted by a jury of two counts of Criminal Sexual Assault and three counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse for incidents which took place between October of 2010 and September of 2011.  He faces up to 90 years in prison when he is sentenced in April.

According to prosecutors, the 15-year-old victim met Hoddenbach at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Chicago where Hoddenbach worked as a counselor.  The victim came to Hoddenbach looking for advice on how to get a job.  In addition to giving the victim a list of employers, Hoddenbach offered to pay her to be photographed in lingerie.

In October 2010, Hoddenbach took the victim to a home in Chicago and had her take photographs of Hoddenbach and an unknown female engaging in sex acts.  He then had the victim participate in the acts.  Hoddenbach also engaged in numerous sex acts with the victim at his home in Chicago and at various motels in Chicago, Northbrook, and Schiller Park.  Hoddenbach documented these encounters on various cameras and also had the victim send sexually explicit photos via cell phone.

According to prosecutors, when the victim told Hoddenbach she no longer wanted anything to do with him he threatened to circulate the pictures.

The victim eventually told an instructor at her high school about the assaults and Hoddenbach was subsequently arrested and charged.  Police discovered numerous nude photos of the victim as well as threatening text messages from Hoddenbach on the victim’s phone.

The jury returned the guilty verdicts late Thursday after the trial at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building.

State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys Elizabeth Ciaccia and Denise Loiterstein as well as the Chicago Police Department for their work on this case.


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