On Sunday, May 10 at approximately 5 a.m., a 27-year-old woman claims a man tried to sexually assault her as she was riding a CTA Red Line train between the Fullerton and North/Clybourn stations, according to a news article at the Chicago Tribune. The two were the only passengers on the train according to ABC news report.
Ronald Sparks, a 34-year-old South Side man, was ultimately arrested in the case after police sent out surveillance photos in a community alert on Sunday evening. According to Officer Janel Sedevic, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, the alleged victim declined medical attention.
Thomas Hunt of the Guardian Angels handed out fliers with surveillance photos of the suspect early Monday morning, and said he was not surprised Sparks was caught due to the clarity of the photos. He went on to say that CTA spent a considerable amount of time and effort installing the surveillance cameras.
Sparks was riding another CTA train when he was confronted by a private security officer who noticed Sparks was wanted in connection with the incident. He said that Sparks was smoking a cigarette, which is against the rules. This was the reason he initially approached Sparks before realizing he was being sought by police. Sparks was charged with smoking on CTA property, and aggravated criminal sexual assault causing bodily harm.
In Illinois, the penalties for aggravated criminal sexual assault vary depending on the facts of the case and the individual’s criminal history. Offenders may be given a mandatory minimum sentence, or face up to life in prison. The criminal penalties for sex crimes all around the nation are extremely harsh, including in the state of Michigan. The penalties vary and may include prison time, fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender, depending on the offense an individual is accused of. Those who are convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, the most serious charge of all which involves penetration, may face life in prison if found guilty.
If you have been accused of any sex crime, you should be very concerned even if your case is still under investigation and you have not been charged. A conviction could not only result in loss of your freedom, but ruin of your reputation and career as well. If you have been arrested or charged with sexual assault, an Internet sex crime, child sexually abusive activity or any offense, consult with an aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney immediately.