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Collinsville woman accused of sexually abusing teen for years, was a family friend

The charges date back to a series of encounters between June 2006 and April 2010
Credit: Madison County State’s Attorney's Office

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — A Collinsville woman was charged after being accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy for four years.

Sharilyn Whittaker was charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault and one count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The charges date back to a series of encounters between June 2006 and April 2010.

Authorities said Whittaker sexually abused the boy while she was in a position of “trust, authority or supervision as a family friend of the victim.”

After investigators interviewed Whittaker and the victim, charges were filed.

“For so many victims of sexual assault, it can take years to finally reach the point where they are able to tell their story and begin the path through the justice system to vindication," said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons. "When victims are heard and supported, we have an opportunity to connect them with a support system that allows them to continue their path to healing. As a community, we have to continue to provide these opportunities and remain vigilant to listen for the voices of those who have been victimized, so they can have their day in court and their opportunity for justice."

Whittaker turned herself in to the Troy Police Department and her bond was set at $250,000. Officials said she posted a cash bond and was released with a no contact order with the victim.

If convicted of criminal sexual assault, a class 1 felony, Whittaker faces up to 15 years in prison, per count. If convicted of both charges, she would be required to register as a lifetime child sex offender.