DECATUR – Elroy Mitchell, a 53-year-old Decatur man with an extensive criminal history, is being held in jail on $75,000 bond after he was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and sexual abuse of a girl beginning when she was 7.

Mitchell is facing up to 60 years in prison if convicted of one of the eight counts charging him with sexual penetration of the child.

Mitchell was arrested June 10 after the child's mother reported to police that her daughter told her she had been sexually assaulted by Mitchell over several years.

During an interview at the Macon County Child Advocacy Center, the girl “disclosed many instances of Elroy sexually abusing her,” said an affidavit by Decatur police detective Janette Carlton.

When the victim was asked if she disclosed the abuse to anyone, she identified a child with whom she had confided.

That child recalled to Carlton that the victim said that Mitchell “was touching her.” The child witnessed Mitchell picking the victim up at a bus stop while they were waiting for a school bus then return her to the stop before the bus arrived. The child said this occurred about three times each week. The victim asked the child to promise not to tell anyone about the abuse.

The victim said Mitchell drove her around in his car before school and abused her.

At other times he would lie on top of her in a residence “and she recalled she could not breathe due to the weight of his body on her,” Carlton wrote in her affidavit.

A friend of the victim's told the detective that the victim disclosed that Mitchell “had been touching her since she was 7 and makes her do things when she is by herself but she was afraid to tell and wanted it to stop.”

The grandmother of a male child reported that the boy told her that Mitchell tried to make that boy perform a sex act on him.

Besides the eight sexual assault counts, Mitchell was charged with six counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, for incidents of sexual conduct with the child. Each of these counts is punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Mitchell is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 10.