$500,000 bond set for Chillicothe man accused of child sexual assault

Travis Close, 32
Travis Close, 32(Gray)
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 4:15 PM CST
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PEORIA COUNTY (25 News Now) - A judge set a Chillicothe man’s bond at $500,000 Wednesday afternoon.

Travis Close, 32, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, a class X felony. Close was arrested Tuesday for five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child under 13 years old.

Police documents say Close knew the victim. The documents show the abuse started physically, spanning for years, then eventually turned sexual.

The Pediatric Resource Center says more than 90% of abusers are known and trusted by the child.

“I am a big proponent of talking about sex and sexual safety as early as children become verbal because it does keep them safer,” said Dr. Channing Petrak, medical director at the Pediatric Resource Center.

“Currently 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are victims of sexual abuse before the age of 18,” said Dr. Petrak.

Documents say Close would tell the victim not to tell anyone about the alleged sexual assaults. Close told detectives he was a monster, he did not know why he did it and that he regrets it.

Dr. Petrak says she is the only practicing child abuse pediatrician in the region. The Pediatric Resource Center is designed to evaluate children for possible abuse and neglect.

“I think of it for myself as, ‘If I don’t do something and it continues to happen and I find out later I could have intervened earlier, how would I feel?’ and I don’t want that feeling so, it’s better to call the (child abuse) hotline (800-252-2873),” said Dr. Petrak.

The resource center says it serves 37 counties in Illinois with a range of 800 to 900 calls each year. Dr. Petrak says they often see an uptick in disclosure of child sex abuse around the holidays.

“It might be that a particular child says, ‘I don’t want to go if so and so is going to be there,’ because they haven’t been around that person in a while and they don’t want to see them again,” said Dr. Petrak.

Close has a bond set at $500,000. His next court appearance is Dec. 22.

For more information or resources regarding child sex abuse and neglect, visit the Pediatric Resource Center.