Wolf Lake Couple Pleads Not Guilty
Robert and Bethany Pleasant, a couple from Wolf Lake, Illinois, appeared in the Jackson County District Court on Tuesday, July 22nd, for a preliminary hearing. They pled not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting children.
The couple, formerly of Murphysboro, Illinois, were arrested on June 18th on outstanding Jackson County warrants. The arrests came as a result of a month-long investigation conducted by the Murphysboro Police Department, Michigan CPS, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services into the alleged child sexual abuse of three children.
According to police reports, the couple are accused of having molested Robert’s two biological children, along with the child of his former girlfriend. Police have not yet made public the reasons why the Pleasants had access to Robert’s ex-girlfriend’s child, who is a resident of Michigan. None of the children involved in the alleged abuse live with the couple.
While the couple are residents of the state of Illinois, the charges stem from both Michigan and Illinois, as the third child involved in the alleged abuse lives with the mother in Michigan – Robert’s former partner. For this reason, Michigan CPS is involved in the investigation and will provide testimony should the case go to trial.
The arrest was a collaborative effort between the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan, the Illinois State Police, and The Union County Sheriff’s Office in Illinois.
Robert Pleasant, 36, was initially charged with 2 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. However an additional 8 new charges were brought against him after the arrest. Six of these counts involve child pornography.
Bethany Pleasant, 25, is charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under the age of 13, and criminal sexual assault of a victim between the ages of 13 and 17.
Court documents show that Robert was charged for the same offenses in 1999, but was found to be not guilty.
The couple is currently being held in the Jackson County Jail on bonds of $1 million each. Dates have not yet been set for the next court appearance.