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Former Markham deputy police chief accused of sex abuse

Tony D. DeBois 41 MattesIll. departs from Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse Chicago Ill. after court appearance Thursday March 7

Tony D. DeBois, 41, of Matteson, Ill., departs from the Everett M. Dirksen U.S. Courthouse in Chicago, Ill., after a court appearance on Thursday, March 7, 2013. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 9, 2013 11:31AM



Just a month after a bank robber compared him to the corrupt cop played by Denzel Washington in the movie “Training Day,” Markham’s former deputy police chief has been accused by the feds of sexual abuse.

But the attorney representing controversial cop Tony DeBois says the charge smells like political payback from dirty officers DeBois blew the whistle on.

DeBois, 41, is accused in a criminal civil rights indictment unsealed Thursday of sexual abuse while he was on duty in the south suburb on Sept. 23, 2010. Though prosecutors declined to identify the victim or circumstances of the alleged abuse, DeBois’s attorney, Bob Kuzas, says he believes the alleged victim is a prisoner who was being held by Markham Police.

Arrested early Thursday at his Matteson home, DeBois was released on bond in the afternoon after pleading not guilty during a brief appearance before Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier at the downtown Dirksen Federal Court building.

The burly former officer wore Timberland boots and combat shorts and spoke during the hearing only to confirm that he understood his rights and that he must turn in any guns or police paraphernalia that he owns.

He has long been a polarizing figure in the south suburbs.

During a 17-year law enforcement career with the Chicago Housing Authority police, Harvey Police and Markham, he has been named in at least 15 civil lawsuits that allege he used excessive force or illegal means while on the job. Many have been settled.

And last month, bank robber Lydon Germel Wesley — a distant relation of DeBois through marriage — testified during a bank heist trial that DeBois was “like Denzel Washington in ‘Training Day.’”

The reference to Detective Alonzo Harris, the despicable character played by Washington, angered DeBois, who helped put away corrupt Harvey cop Hollis Dorrough in 2009 and has policed some of the Chicago area’s most dangerous streets.

Speaking outside court Thursday, his attorney described the timing of DeBois’ prosecution as “suspicious.” Two of the former fellow officers whom DeBois expects to testify against him were recently fingered by DeBois for stealing $15,000 while executing a search warrant, Kuzas said.

DeBois was fired after making the complaint, but the two cops kept their jobs, Kuzas said.

Markham Mayor David Webb Jr. did not return calls seeking comment.

DeBois isn’t the first city worker accused of sex crimes during Webb’s reign. In 2007, code enforcement officer Mark Hauser was sentenced to 14 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old intern inside the suburb’s city hall.



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