Guilty plea from man accused of sexually abusing girls during Lincoln Park burglaries

Hunter Best (inset) and a surveillance image of the suspect released by police. | CPD

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The Indianapolis man who prosecutors accused of entering two Lincoln Park homes and sexually abusing two sleeping girls has reached a plea deal. 

Hunter Best, 26, pleaded guilty to two counts of residential burglary, but prosecutors agreed to drop the most serious charges he faced.

Judge Erica Reddick sentenced Best to two concurrent eight-year terms. The state will cut his sentence by 50% for good behavior, and he is receiving 604 days credit for time spent in jail while awaiting trial, giving Best an anticipated parole date in early 2022.

Prosecutors dropped 26 other felonies, including four counts of Class X felony home invasion involving a sex offense. The state also dropped 14 burglary counts and four sex-related charges.

Police said Best entered a home in the 400 block of West Belden around 2 a.m. on May 27, 2018, and sexually abused a 13-year-old as she slept. About 20 minutes later, Best allegedly entered a residence two blocks away on the 500 block of West Grant and inappropriately touched an 11-year-old girl in her bedroom.

Investigators released surveillance images and video of the offender after the crimes, resulting in Best’s arrest one month later.

CWBChicago reported in August that DNA testing of a cigarette and beer can found in one of the girls’ homes concluded that one out of 6.5 quintillion unrelated people would have the same DNA profile as the one taken from the recovered items. Best is one of those persons, according to prosecutors.

According to a recent filing by Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Innes, the 13-year-old girl woke up when Best entered her bedroom. Best remained in the room for about fifteen minutes, kissing the girl and rubbing her shoulders as the girl pleaded with him to leave, Innes said.

He eventually went to her father’s bedroom, where the man awoke to find Best standing over him, watching him sleep, according to the filing. The father escorted Best out of the house before learning about what had allegedly happened to his daughter.

On the same night, an 11-year-old girl was sleeping at her grandfather’s house on the 500 block of West Grant when she woke up to find a strange man standing above her around 2:20 a.m., the state alleges.

That girl told investigators that the man kissed her on the lips and touched her private areas. The girl’s crying and whimpering awoke her grandfather who saw a silhouette move across the room when he went to check on her.

None of the alleged victims or their relatives knew Best, prosecutors said.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com