Harvard man admits to sex with underage girlfriend

WOODSTOCK – A 24-year-old Harvard man admitted to having sex with an underage girl under the terms of a plea deal accepted Monday by a McHenry County Judge.

Joel Huicochea pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor.

He entered a blind plea accepted by McHenry County Judge Gordon Graham, meaning there was no agreement between attorneys on a possible sentence. Three remaining sexual abuse charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea.

Huicochea faces up to seven years in prison on the Class 2 felony, which also allows for a probation sentence. A sentencing hearing is set for Feb. 7.

Assistant State's Attorney David Metnick said that on July 24, Huicochea had sex with the girl who was 15 years old at the time. Huicochea told investigators from the Woodstock Police Department he knew the girl was underage.

According to an emergency order of protection filed by the girl's father, Huicochea pressured the girl, who was listed as his girlfriend, into having sex with him on multiple occasions. The order of protection was denied by a judge.

Huicochea has been held in McHenry County Jail since his arrest on Sept. 11, in lieu of $80,000 bond.