BENET LAKE – A Benedictine monk at St. Benedict’s Abbey who was arrested April 26 and charged with disorderly conduct and attempted child abduction, returned to custody, according to a release from St. Benedict’s Abbey.
Br. Thomas M. Chmura, 57, was arrested for an incident reported to have occurred April 25 in which a female student at Antioch Community High School reported that a man fitting his description invited her to get into his car.
Waukegan Bond Court Judge James Simonian remanded him on Saturday, April 27, to Lake County jail on a $50,000 cash bond pending his April 30 court appearance, where his private attorney filed an appearance on his behalf and a preliminary hearing was scheduled according to a Waukegan Bond Court clerk.
On May 2, the state returned the case to court to modify Br. Chmura’s bond conditions, after the state learned there were youth at the monastery where he was staying – the judge revoked the bond conditions because the Benedictine can’t have contact with anybody under age 18 but had nowhere else to stay, according to the clerk.
The case is set for bond review on May 13, at which time the judge may consider reinstating Chmura’s previous bond, if he has a stable residence with a landline phone, and no contact with anybody under age 18, according to the clerk.
“The decision to grant bond to Br. Chmura, like the decision to return him to custody, was made by the Illinois court,” according to the release dated May 7.
“The Abbey and its members respect the court’s decisions and its responsibilities, and it has complete confidence in the court’s willingness and ability to reach appropriate decisions. It is not correct to imply that the Abbey or its members have violated or disregarded any order, by the court.”
According to the release, members of the Abbey were constantly supervising Br. Chmura from the time he was initially released on bond by the Illinois court.
“At no time was he permitted to be in the presence of minors. It is correct that on the campus of the Abbey, a separate building is used by minors who are under constant adult supervision. In that sense only, minors were in a location not far from the Abbey building, but at no time since he was released on bond was Br. Thomas allowed to be in contact with any minor,” the release said.
St. Benedict Abbey said its members “continue to pray for all those who have been victimized by the selfish acts of others, and especially for those minors who have suffered abuse by trusted adults.”