As a bespectacled elderly man was led by sheriff's deputies into a courtroom of the Markham courthouse Wednesday, Oct. 3, murmurs arose from the seated crowd as some wondered what the man could have done.
That murmuring stopped as Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Richard Stake Jr. read the charges against 71-year-old Hugh T. Copeland: aggravated sexual assault of a child.
A stunned silence took its place.
Authorities say Copeland of Homewood sexually assaulted a juvenile over the course of two years, with the most recent incident occurring on Aug. 12. Stake told Judge Darron E. Bowden that Copeland had made admissions to police regarding some of the incidents.
The judge set bail at $300,000. Copeland must pay $30,000 to be released. It was unclear Wednesday afternoon whether Copeland had bonded out. Under the conditions of the bond, Copeland can't have any contact with the juvenile, the juvenile's family or anyone under the age of 18.
Defense attorneys said Copeland has been married for 14 years and retired from the William Wrigley Co. after 47 years there. Copeland was also in the U.S. Air Force for two years, the attorney said.
Copeland is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 24.