WOODSTOCK – A former substance abuse counselor will spend the next four months in the McHenry County Jail and three years on probation after admitting to fondling a young boy.
Taylor L. Blaul, 30, pleaded guilty Monday to charges alleging that he molested the boy, who was 11 years old at the time and known to Blaul. He was arrested in July 2014, shortly after he was seen kissing the young boy at the Woodstock city pool, Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein said.
The boy told investigators that Blaul had fondled him on a number of occasions. Authorities said the abuse started in September 2013, and aside from the pool incident, all happened at Blaul's Woodstock home.
Blaul was eligible for up to a seven-year prison term. Three additional charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.
Blaul must register for life as a sex offender. He also will undergo sex offender counseling, pay a $1,200 fine, and pay $1,365 in restitution to the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund. Blaul must have no contact with the victim or his family.
The agreement was accepted by McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham.
In a victim impact statement read to the judge by Eisenstein, the boy said Blaul played video games with him, taught him about sports and took him to football games.
"I was scared to tell my parents, and afraid Taylor would ignore me," the boy wrote." ... I thought of him as a friend. Now I know he's one of the people we were told to avoid."
Blaul formerly worked as a clinical director at Direct Counseling, a well-established family firm that does majority of the substance abuse evaluations in the county. Blaul was fired after his arrest.
He had been free on bond, and was immediately remanded to custody Monday. Blaul was represented by defense attorney Mark Facchini.
• Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect sentencing information that was previously omitted. The Northwest Herald regrets the error.