A 36-year-old youth pastor is accused of sexually assaulting and robbing women. The crimes are alleged to have occurred with the same modus operandi. The pastor would approach a woman, begin talking to her, and attempt to lure her to his car. If she refused, the pastor would rob the woman, and in at least two cases, he sexually assaulted them.
Police say that the 36-year-old youth pastor targeted a 44-year-old woman in 2300 block of East 79th Street, a 58-year-old woman in the 400 block of West 113th Street, and a 45-year-old woman in the 10200 block of South Wentworth Avenue. He is further accused of sexual assault against a 47-year-old woman in 12300 block of South Emerald Avenue and a 34-year-old woman in 9300 block of South Lyon Avenue. All of the assaults occurred between June and July of 2023.
One of the cases involved a homeless woman who accepted a ride from the defendant. Police allege that he sexually assaulted the woman at knifepoint before stealing her belongings. Police found the victim’s ID and credit cards inside of the suspect’s car.
The defendant is currently being held without bond.
Analyzing the Charges
The defendant is charged with armed robbery and criminal sexual assault. Armed robbery is considered a class-X felony under Illinois law, which has the harshest penalties you can face short of first-degree murder. A class-X felony has a sentencing range between six and 30 years in state prison.
He is also charged with criminal sexual assault in at least two of the cases. Under Illinois Law (720 ILCS 5/11-1.20(a)), the crime of criminal sexual assault is defined as using force or the threat of force to commit an act of sexual penetration. It is considered a class-1 felony under Illinois Law. Class 1 felonies have a sentencing range of four to 15 years behind bars.
At the low end of the sentencing range, the defendant could face a minimum of 38 years in prison if all of the charges are proven in court. It remains unclear whether or not the defendant will attempt to fight the charges, but at this point, his defense looks grim. Police found him in possession of one of the victim’s purses that he stole, and prosecutors will use this as the foundation of their prosecution. Each individual sexual assault and robbery is charged separately as its own crime. The defendant can also face charges related to weapons offenses. His only defense would be to argue that police planted the evidence on him for whatever nefarious purposes. But it is unclear at this point how police managed to find the perpetrator.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Defense attorney David Freidberg handles Chicago sexual assault charges. If you are charged with criminal sexual assault in Chicago, call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.