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WJBD - Local News - 10 Year Old Diary Entry Leads to Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Charges

10 Year Old Diary Entry Leads to Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse Charges

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

A diary entry by a nine-year-old from a decade ago started an investigation that has led to the arrest of a 38-year-old Mt. Vernon man on sex charges.  Bond has been set at $100,000 for Michael Schallenberg of East Davis Road on a warrant charging two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.  

The Marion County Sheriff's Department  began the investigation last week after receiving a call from the mother of the now 15-year-old girl.  The mother provided the department with the information about the alleged sexual activity she learned about when confronting her daughter about the diary entry.  The girl allegedly admitted that Schallenberg had committed sex acts with her at the time he lived with the girl's mother in rural Iuka around 2004.   The allegations resulted in the 'Class X' predatory criminal sexual assault of a child charge.  

The mother also learned that Schallenberg had allegedly fondled her then six-year-old daughter during the same time period. Those incidents led to the two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. 

Utility and school records confirmed that the family lived in the rural Iuka home at the time the sex acts allegedly occurred.  Assistant State's Attorney Melissa Doran says the girls could also remember details of other events that occurred during the same time period.  That allowed for the period of time the alleged sex acts occurred to be narrowed down.  

The sheriff's department believes there is a third child victim, but the alleged sexual activity did not occur in Marion County.  The department with jurisdiction is still investigating that case.  

Schallenberg has not lived with the mother since 2009.  Doran says there have been no recent allegations of sexual acts.  \

The warrant for Schallenberg was issued on Wednesday.   He was picked up at his home with the assistance of a Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputy Wednesday night.  During his first appearance in court Thursday, a public defender was appointed to represent Schallenberg.  He is currently being held in the Marion County Jail.  

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