|Stephane Edouard attacked his victims while driving a taxi that may belong to a relative. | GörlitzPhotography|
It’s finally over for two of his victims. But another is still waiting for justice, and there may be many more victims still out there.
Stephane Edouard, 40, was sentenced this week to a total of 41 years in prison for drugging two people in May 2014, leaving one of them for dead in an alley near Boystown and raping the other in a taxi cab that may have belonged to a relative. As prosecutors prepared their case against Edouard, they filed a chilling five-page summary of other similar crimes that they believe he has committed. Worse, he is still awaiting trial for allegedly strangling and raping his girlfriend while free on bond in the 2014 case. His girlfriend just happened to be the person who posted bail allowing him to leave jail.
Around 9:30 p.m. on May 15, 2014, Edouard approached a woman and her male friend, a Boystown bartender, at a party in Edgewater. He introduced himself as “Vinnie” and offered the couple cocaine, prosecutors said. The three went to Edouard’s car—a taxi cab—and the victims snorted powder that they thought was cocaine from the crease of a magazine. It was not cocaine. It was heroin and both victims lost consciousness.
The woman told investigators that she remembered Edouard driving somewhere. When she woke up again, she was being raped by Edouard in the back seat. Unable to fight back due to the drugs, she next remembered being dropped off around 5 a.m. in a strange neighborhood without her cell phone.
Around the time the woman was getting away from Edouard, her friend was found lying unconscious in an alley near Boystown. It was 43-degrees outside. When paramedics reached him in the 3800 block of North Fremont, the man’s body temperature had dropped into the high 80’s. He eventually regained consciousness at an area hospital where he stayed for four days, suffering hypothermia, pneumonia, and seizures from being left in the cold.
A jury convicted Edouard last year and Judge Stanley Sacks this week sentenced him to 27-years for the sexual assault followed by 14-years for aggravated battery. Edouard must serve at least 85% of the sexual assault time, Sacks ordered. Edouard’s parole date is currently set for March 11, 2047. But he’s still facing at least one more vicious rape allegation.
“Evidence Of Other Crimes”
In preparation for a possible trial, prosecutors asked the judge to allow them to introduce “evidence of other crimes” to demonstrate a pattern of similar behavior by Edouard before the 2014 incident. The five-page summary of police records is shocking:
|Edouard dumped two unconscious women in this gravel lot in 2009, prosecutors alleged in a court filing. | Google|
September 18, 2009 — Edouard approached two women outside of Rino Lounge, 323 West Erie, around closing time. He introduced himself as “Vic” and offered the women a ride in his car, which appeared to be an old taxi cab without the roof light, prosecutors wrote.
When the women asked Edouard to stop so they could buy something to drink, he offered them Gatorade from his trunk. They accepted and both passed out within minutes of drinking from the bottle.
Around 6 a.m. one of the women woke up on top of the other woman. They were lying in a gravel parking lot full of abandoned cars on Goose Island. The first woman was able to get help before her legs gave out and she again lost consciousness.
Staff members at Stroger Hospital summoned police when both victims showed signs of having been sexually assaulted. Both women also identified Edouard in photo line-ups, prosecutors said, adding that “a physical lineup could not be done because the defendant was uncooperative and would not lift his head.”
Police recovered the Gatorade bottle from Edouard’s car five days later and it had one of the women’s DNA on it, they said. At the parking lot where the women were found, surveillance footage showed a taxi cab like Edouard’s driving away about an hour before the first victim regained consciousness.
September 23, 2009 — Five days after the Rino incident, detectives investigating the case saw an old taxi cab that matched the description given by the two victims parked in the 200 block of West Superior.
The cops watched as Edouard went to the trunk of the car, took out a bottle of Gatorade, and then returned to the front seat of the cab. A woman was sitting in the passenger seat. Edouard was arrested and the woman was interviewed.
She had been walking near Ontario and LaSalle when Edouard approached her and asked for directions, she recalled. Edouard offered to buy her a drink and the two went to Spy Bar on Franklin Street. Afterward, the woman went to Edouard’s cab where she told Edouard that “she wanted to get high,” prosecutors said. That’s when Edouard allegedly went to his trunk for the Gatorade.
When police searched Edouard’s car, they found a Gatorade bottle on the floor. They would later learn that the bottle carried DNA from one of the September 18th victims.
Another September 18th Victim — When Edouard was arrested on September 23, 2009, cops recovered a cell phone from a jacket in the taxi cab’s front seat. They tracked down the owner: A man who told them that he went out for some drinks at Level nightclub in the Viagra Triangle on September 18. He was there until about 4 a.m.
The next thing the man remembered was waking up the next afternoon at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
He had been found unconscious, leaning against a garage in the 700 block of West Armitage, police said. All of his personal items were missing. The man said he did not knowingly take any narcotics on the night that he went to Level and he did not know Edouard.
Edouard has never been charged with any crime in connection with the events detailed in the prosecution’s filing.
A Chicago police homicide detective who spoke with CWBChicago on the condition of anonymity said that he is convinced that at least some of the many bodies found dead from heroin overdoses in Chicago between 2009 and 2014 were victims of Edouard.
“If I can catch ever catch a break on one of these overdoses, I can guarantee he will never leave the penitentiary,” the cop said. A source says that while Chicago and Evanston police have executed search warrants and recovered additional evidence—including more cellphones—that one critical break has yet to come along.
Girlfriend Becomes Victim
Not long after Edouard was charged with the rape and drugging of his May 2014 victims, his girlfriend did him a solid: She put down tens of thousands of dollars as a bail deposit, allowing him to sit at home instead of being in Cook County Jail.
While on electronic monitoring in June 2016, Edouard allegedly battered, choked, and raped his girlfriend in an Evanston apartment that they shared. The 50-year-old woman was found on the street calling for help, police said. She reported that “she’d been held captive overnight” by Edouard as he battered and sexually assaulted her.
Edouard is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, domestic battery, unlawful restraint, and a list of other charges. The case continues its course through the justice system.