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Sunday, February 1, 2009 — A 25-year-old Chicago woman was charged Wednesday afternoon with child endangerment after Cook County Sheriff’s Deputies and a courthouse visitor found her three young children wandering about the Bridgeview Courthouse, the Office of Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

     Lupita Villasenor, of 3116 W. 50th Pl., Chicago, was charged with three counts of child endangerment at the 5th District Circuit Courthouse in Bridgeview.  About 2:30 p.m., Deputies working security at the front door of the courthouse, noticed a 5-year-old boy playing in the revolving door. As Deputies began to question the boy, Villasenor was in the Clerk’s Office nearby. She saw the Deputies talking to the child, came out and told the Deputies he was her son.

     Villasenor told the Deputies her ex-husband had driven her to the courthouse with her son and two other children. The woman, whose driver’s license was suspended since December, 2008, said she was at the courthouse attempting to find out information about her suspended license case.

     Deputies immediately began searching the parking lot for her ex-husband, but were unable to locate him. Deputies did find her vehicle parked in the lot and Villasenor’s 3-year-old son wandering outside near the building’s front door. Her third child, an 18-month-old girl, was found wandering around the busy parking lot without one shoe and sock, by a courthouse visitor who was concerned, picked up the child and brought her in to Deputies. According to the National Weather Service, it was 3 degrees with the wind chill factor at the time of the incident.

     The children were examined at the courthouse by local paramedics as a precaution, but were not transported to the hospital.

     Sheriff’s Deputies contacted the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services who released the children to the custody of an aunt. Villasenor will be held in Sheriff’s custody pending a Thursday morning bond hearing at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

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