An Oak Lawn man who has beaten past raps for child abduction, goes to trial on Tuesday for public indecency charges when he was allegedly observed masturbating within view of six children in Chicago last year. Unlike the other times, the star witnesses in this trial aren't children or his mother, they're adults.
Daniel J. Vorberg, 31, of the 5000 block of 101st Street in Oak Lawn, was charged with two felony counts of public indecency when two adults reported seeing him “fondling and exposing himself” near Cassell Elementary School in Mt. Greenwood on April 30, 2013.
Both adults told police that while fondling himself, Vorberg was pointing his phone at several young children playing nearby. The male witness took a picture of Vorberg’s license plate before he sped off, Chicago Police said.
After the incident, a picture of his car and license plate was posted to local Facebook groups where it was quickly disseminated among neighbors. Vorberg was arrested the next day in Oak Lawn.
Following his arrest, Vorberg posted $5,000 bond and was released into Cook County’s electronic home monitoring system. He was soon sent back to jail when county officials said that Vorberg left the Oak Lawn residence where he under house arrest wearing the electronic ankle bracelet. Vorberg has been held in Cook County Jail since then.
Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th), as well as other elected officials, including State Sen. Bill Cunningham and State Reps. Fran Hurley and Kelly Burke, and community residents have attended some or all of Vorberg’s court hearings this past year.
Late Monday afternoon, O’Shea sent an email blast to 19th Ward constituents informing them of the start of Vorberg’s trial on Tuesday. The alderman asked that as many community members as possible attend the jury trial, which is expected to last two to three days.
“It’s important as a community that we show our disgust and follow these cases,” O’Shea said. “As alderman, I will follow each and every one of these cases, especially with a predator like Vorberg. When judges see a community working together, they pay attention. We can send a message.”
This is not Vorberg’s first time in a courtroom facing criminal charges. According to court records, Vorberg's arrest history begins in 2001 up until the present with charges for retail theft, disorderly conduct, battery, criminal damage to property, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence and contributing to the delinquency of a child, all of which were dismissed.
In 2008, Vorberg was charged with distributing harmful materials to a minor, but the charges were dropped when the witness did not show up in court.
He was back in court the next year, when he was charged with three felony counts of child abduction and disorderly conduct when he allegedly attempted to lure three, 11-year-old Oak Lawn girls to his SUV in October 2009.
When asked if she had seen her son in the area of 101st Street and Elm Circle in Oak Lawn early in the morning on Oct. 5, 2009, his mother made a statement to police that "she hadn't seen her son for a long time," according to court records.
He was identified by his oldest victim and spent the next 18 months in Cook County Jail awaiting trial when he could not make the $280,000 bail, court records said.
Out of a jail only a few months, Vorberg was busted again for retail theft and battery when he got into a tussle with a security guard at Menards in October 2011, Tinley Park police reports said.
He was on court supervision for those charges when he was arrested last year for public indecency.
A jury was selected for Vorberg’s trial on Monday, which was also attended by Oak Lawn police officers who also have an interest. O’Shea says he will be there for opening arguments on Tuesday, and will attend as much of the trial as he can, schedule permitting.
“He got away with it last time,” the Chicago alderman said. “The state’s attorney’s office has been very aggressive with this. This time it’s personal.”
The public indecency trial of Daniel J. Vorberg starts at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 8, in room 107 at the Cook County Fifth District Courthouse, 10220 S. 76th Ave., Bridgeview.