A married couple have been charged with sexually assaulting three teenage boys in their northwest suburban home.
Christopher Wheeler, 30, and Anthony Wheeler, 25, of Prospect Heights, each face multiple counts of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, authorities said.
According to allegations detailed in court by prosecutors Thursday, the men forced a 15-year-old boy to perform sexual acts with them on five occasions between June and July. On one occasion, authorities contend, Christopher Wheeler "told victim to go upstairs and threatened to beat him up if he did not do so," Assistant State's Attorney Maria McCarthy said.
Prosecutors also allege that, on March 3 of this year, the defendants forced a 14-year-old boy to perform sex acts with them and that Christopher Wheeler told the boy, "What happens in the house stays in the house." The next morning, the boy's mother called police after seeing a text the boy received that referred to the sex acts, authorities said.
Two days later, McCarthy said, Christopher Wheeler arranged for an Uber driver to pick up a different 14-year-old boy and bring him to the Wheelers' home, where they assaulted the boy, authorities said.
Prosecutors said it appeared at least one of the acts of sexual abuse was filmed.
Police began investigating March 7, after a 15-year-old boy who was sexually abused at the Wheelers' home sought medical assistance, according to Prospect Heights police. Police said some of the victims were shown pornographic material and given alcohol before performing sexual acts.
The Wheelers were taken into custody Tuesday, the day Prospect Heights police executed a search warrant and recovered several electronic devices from their home, according to a police news release. Police said their investigation is ongoing and urge anyone with more information to contact the department at 847-398-5511.
McCarthy said additional charges against the Wheelers are possible.
The couple's attorney, Marie Taraska, said she expects her clients to be exonerated.
Authorities said the Wheelers have an adopted child and also are foster parents to another child.
Outside court, McCarthy declined to say who now has physical custody of those children but said they are safe.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services assisted in the investigation, police said. A spokeswoman for the child welfare agency confirmed it's conducting its own investigation but declined further comment.
Married couple accused of assaulting 3 teen boys in suburban home George Houde Duaa Eldeib Chicago Tribune Mar 30 2017