The former deputy police chief of south suburban Markham denies sexually abusing an individual while the person was in custody.
Tony DeBois, 41, of Matteson pleaded not guilty in federal court Thursday to charges of aggravated sexual abuse.
"I'll put it to you like this. I've been a police officer for a long time. Why would I wait until now to become a criminal?" DeBois told reporters outside of the courthouse after he was released. "I hope to God it all comes out."
FBI agents arrested DeBois Thursday morning at his home.
He's accused of "violating the civil rights of a victim through acts that included aggravated sexual abuse" on Sept. 23, 2010, "while acting in his official capacity as Markham deputy police chief."
DeBois served as deputy chief between 2008 and 2011 and was Markham’s inspector general until 2012. He worked with the Chicago Housing Authority Police Department in the 1990s and as a Harvey Police officer. Records show DeBois was named in about a dozen lawsuits between 2004 and 2011 alleging he was abusive, many of which were settled out of court.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.