Articles Tagged with Rape

A Chicago man was recently found guilty of the rape of a 15-year-old girl while she was walking home in 2017. The 66-year-old defendant had been charged with two counts of rape, attempted rape, criminal confinement, armed robbery, and battery with a deadly weapon. The defendant was convicted on each of the seven counts and faces a maximum prison sentence of 146 years behind bars. The defendant rejected a 40-year prison sentence in a plea deal offered by the state. 

According to the charges, the defendant had followed the 15-year-old girl down the street as she was walking home. He dragged her into an alley, where he raped her, according to prosecutors. The same defendant has another count of rape filed against him. He has been charged in Chicago with raping another woman at knifepoint in East Chicago. 

Sexual Assault Charges in Chicago, IL

A man told police, among other things, that another man had given him a ride home from a club. The man who offered the ride was later found bludgeoned to death in a pool of his own blood. The suspect, who was covered in blood, initially told police that he fell down the stares, but later revealed that he had bludgeoned the man to death with a hammer after the man had allegedly tried to rape him. Police found the victim’s wallet in the suspect’s possession. The suspect did not have a good reason for possessing the wallet. He has since been charged with first-degree murder.

The man pleaded guilty to a battery charge while out on parole for an unrelated offense. He was sentenced in 2013 for attempted murder. He pleaded self-defense in that case, too.

Analyzing the Defense

Clark Perry Baldwin was arrested just recently for his apparent ties to three murders of women in the 1990s. DNA evidence also tied Baldwin to a rape in Texas. Baldwin is accused of scouring America for women to rape and then murder. Most of the victims’ bodies were recovered in Wyoming and Tennessee.

Iowa police are looking at Baldwin as a likely serial suspect and have begun the process of connecting him to other unsolved slayings. Baldwin was a long-haul trucker, potentially leaving bodies all over the country.

Cold Cases are Getting a Second Look

mihai-surdu-DeI2BMIMDFA-unsplash-copy-300x200The man whose conduct lit the fire that set off the #MeToo movement will stand trial in Manhattan facing five charges relating to sex crimes. Harvey Weinstein has been accused by over 80 women of sexual misconduct and the trial promises to be a historic indictment of Hollywood culture and even American culture. 

Weinstein will face a litany of witnesses who will testify before the court and recount sexual misconduct before a jury. Some of these women will be recounting experiences from uncharged sex crimes while others will act as witnesses for crimes that have been charged. In this respect, it is similar to the strategy used by prosecutors to convict Bill Cosby of multiple counts of rape and sexual assault. 

Weinstein has maintained his innocence.

louis-reed-747388-unsplash-copy-300x200A man entered a 43-year-old woman’s apartment through a back door that she had left open to get some air and sexually assaulted her. A year passed with no suspects. Now, DNA links Christopher Nelson to the crime. He has been denied bail.

Decades of CSI-style TV shows have led the American public to believe that DNA evidence is unimpeachable. Indeed, it provides law enforcement with its best means of tracking individuals to certain crimes. DNA links Nelson to the crime and the woman he assaulted also picked him out of a lineup.

Understanding DNA Evidence in Rape Cases

file000925712800Prostitution has been called the “oldest profession in the world,” probably because it has been around since the beginning of time. Since sex is considered a trade by those involved in the industry, can it therefore be surmised that a sexual assault and battery on a person involved in the industry not be considered a true crime?

Some time ago, a Chicago Sun-Times editor by the name of Mary Mitchell ran an article stating that in her opinion, a sexual assault and battery on a prostitute is nothing more than a “theft of services,” and not a rape. It is Mitchell’s belief that in considering the sexual assault of a prostitute working in the “industry” a rape, did nothing more than minimize the act of rape of “real” victims and, therefore, an insult to those whom she labeled as “real” victims. It begs the question whether Mitchell would also not consider a wife who had been raped by her husband, a “real” victim.

Mitchell proceeded to blame the victim for the assault, because, in her opinion, the very nature of the sex industry meant that the victim was agreeing to exchange sex for money, and by doing so, she also accepted any risk involved. Is she right? See HuffPost Chicago for more on this story.

Rape and sexual assaults are crimes punishable by long prison sentences and with the “Mark of Cain” following the accused for the rest of his or her life. It can be a destroyer of reputations, and sometimes, of life. But what happens to the accused when the accusation proves to be false?

Rape and Rumors of Rape

In 2014, Rolling Stone Magazine published a story about a horrific 2012 gang rape of a University of Virginia freshman. The article was supposed to expose underreported rape and sexual assaults on campuses and what, if anything, college administrators and society as a whole was doing about it. Members of the fraternity where the alleged rape was supposed to have taken place were all painted with a broad brush as “rapists.” Conversations and debates about this problem went viral, but as it did, more and more people began to question certain facts about the case and the real motive behind Rolling Stone Magazine’s reporting of it. Under intense scrutiny, the facts, or lack thereof, that precipitated the writing of the article eventually fell apart, and Rolling Stone Magazine retracted the story. Its editor left the magazine with the dark cloud of journalistic malpractice following him out the door. See for details about this story.

Jerad Gale, chosen as “Officer of the Year” for the Champaign Police Department, has been arrested for raping and strangling two different women. Since his arrest, another victim and a former girlfriend have come forward alleging similar crimes were committed against them by Gale, and he faces those charges as well. He was also accused of sexual assault in 2007, but was unable to be prosecuted due to a three-year statute of limitations. Somehow, he was awarded the Officer of the Year honor in spite of this. He is not likely to repeat that award, and in fact, prosecutors are trying to have him named a “sexually dangerous person.”

What is a “Sexually Dangerous Person” in Illinois?

The Illinois Sexually Dangerous Persons Act (“The Act”) defines “sexually dangerous persons” as all persons suffering from a mental disorder for longer than a year who have also “criminal propensities” to commit sex offenses and have either committed prior acts of sexual assault or sexual molestation of children. Pursuant to this definition, the prosecutors in this case are seeking a designation of “sexually dangerous person” for Gale, and his motion to dismiss the petition has been denied.

One of the worst crimes you can be charged with in Chicago is criminal sexual assault, or rape.  Not only does it create a stigma against the person charged, but often results in lengthy prison sentences and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

You may have read in the Chicago Sun Times about the case regarding Carl Chatman.   Mr. Chatman was charged with criminal sexual assault, or rape, by a woman in Chicago.  Mr. Chatman was not only convicted of the charges but sentenced to thirty years in the Illinois Department of Corrections as a result.  Another notable case regarding Edward Szymczak would have had a similar result if he had remained in Chicago for his trial.

Fortunately the prosecutors eventually reviewed the evidence in Chatman’s case and his rape conviction was thrown out, and he was released from prison after 11 years in custody.  Eleven years in custody for a crime Chatman did not commit.  At the same time, prosecutors said they were reviewing the woman’s earlier allegations of rape against Szymczak but had not yet reached a conclusion.

These cases bring up the issue of the accusers and their statements.  How is it that someone can cry rape falsely, an innocent person is charged with a crime, his reputation is ruined and he is sent to prison?  All because someone made a false claim.  And nothing happens to the accuser.

It is an abomination of justice.  The State of Illinois is currently reviewing these practices and possibly deciding what, if anything, an accuser can face.  Many people believe that the accuser should face the same penalties as the accused.  If the accused is facing up to thirty years in prison, so should the accused, that is how serious this is. Continue reading

Contact Information