Twice-convicted sex offender tried to sexually assault sunbather in Bucktown park, prosecutors say

Prosecutors on Thursday charged a twice-convicted sex offender with trying to sexually assault a woman who was sunbathing this week in a park adjacent to the 606 trail in Bucktown.

The 45-year-old woman was wearing a bathing suit and lying face-down in Churchill Field Playlot Park, 1825 North Damen, when 41-year-old Darryl Sprowal walked up around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to police and prosecutors.

A police officer detains Darryl Sprowal in Bucktown on Tuesday. | Provided

Sprowal moved his hands to his groin area while standing within feet of the woman, who has never had contact with him before, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said. The woman reportedly looked over at Sprowal and asked if she could help him with something.

Suddenly, Sprowal jumped onto the woman’s back and began grabbing her face as if to cover her mouth, Deboni said. The woman screamed, attracting the attention of two men in the area. They both intervened.

As Sprowal got up, he said he “didn’t do anything” and “it wasn’t what it looked like,” Deboni said. He then walked away on Damen Avenue.

A third witness took video and photos of Sprowal as others called 911. Police searched the area and found Sprowal in the 2000 block of West McLean around 2:22 p.m., according to a CPD spokesperson. The alleged victim identified him as the man who attacked her and Sprowal told police that he “tripped and fell” on the woman, Deboni said.

Sprowal received a six-year prison sentence in 2016 for attempted criminal sexual assault. In that case, he was accused of forcefully grabbing a woman he didn’t know, pulling her legs apart, and positioning himself between them. He was supposed to register his address as a sex offender by March 8, but he never did, Deboni said. Sprowal told investigators who handled the case that he “gets urges to have sex.”

In 2005, Sprowal received a nine-year sentence for sexually assaulting his 72-year-old grandmother, Deboni said. He also served five years in Texas for a burglary that involved a 13-year-old victim, according to Deboni.

Prosecutors on Thursday charged him with attempted criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery in a public place, unlawful restraint, being a sexual predator in a public park, and violating the sex offender registry act.

His defense attorney said Sprowal has been homeless since March and has one child who is now an adult.

Judge Mary Marubio noted the “impulsive nature” of the new allegations and set bail for Sprowal at $250,000, meaning he will need to post $25,000 to get out of jail. Marubio said he’ll also need to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts the deposit bond.

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