A Chicago man inappropriately touched two girls who were with adults on the State Street shopping district in the Loop this week, police said. The man has twice been accused of inappropriate touching in recent years, but those victims never followed through to pursue charges, an assistant state’s attorney said in bond court Wednesday.
Michael Garrett, age 31, of the South Loop is charged with two felony counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under age 13, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor resisting police.
Around 5:15 p.m. Sunday, a woman and her daughter were on the first block of South State when Garrett touched the girl’s buttocks through her clothing, prosecutors said.
A witness who saw the incident screamed out and the girl confirmed that Garrett touched her, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.
Moments later, Garrett walked up behind another girl outside a shoe store on the same block and gave the child a bearhug from behind — touching her back and buttocks over her clothing, Murphy said. Garrett then reached around to grab the girl’s private areas, but the child stopped him, according to Murphy. The victim’s cousin and other witnesses allegedly saw the incident.
Garrett reportedly ran inside a nearby store to get away from witnesses who were confronting him. When an employee of the store approached Garrett, he caressed her from behind and busted through the shop’s front revolving door, Murphy said. Police arrested Garrett about a block away.
Garrett denied touching the girls but said, “his energy may have touched them,” according to Murphy.
Two women have contacted authorities about being inappropriately touched by Garret in recent years, including one in 2019, Murphy said. The victims did not follow through on filing charges with prosecutors and police.
A defense attorney said Garrett owns a real estate investment firm.
Judge David Navarro, who expressed concern about Garrett’s willingness to follow conditions of bond, set bail at $25,000. Garrett will need to post $2,500 to get out of jail before trial.