A man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for raping a woman he followed from the Belmont Red Line station last year while he was on probation for sexually attacking and robbing a woman on the same train line.
Judge Neera Walsh also sentenced Antoine Jackson to a consecutive three-year term for the robbery case in which she initially gave him probation after prosecutors agreed to drop sex charges.
He is scheduled to be paroled on November 29, 2032.
CWB reported last year that Jackson repeatedly violated his probation before he attacked the woman in Lakeview. But officers in the adult probation department, overseen by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans, never took him into custody for those transgressions.
An attack and robbery
In January 2020, police said Jackson began exposing himself to a 24-year-old woman as they traveled on the Red Line near Morse around 9:57 a.m. The woman moved to a different car, but Jackson followed her, struck her several times, touched her inappropriately, and forced her to perform a sex act, investigators said.
Chicago police released images of the attacker the same day, including one that showed the victim with her hand wrapped around his neck. The release of those images was instrumental in identifying Jackson, police said in a statement.
Prosecutors charged him with attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, robbery, and aggravated battery in a public place.
Jackson received probation from Walsh ten months later when he pleaded guilty to robbery, and prosecutors agreed to drop sex crime charges.
During a Zoom court hearing six weeks later, prosecutors asked Walsh to find Jackson in violation of probation because he failed to meet most of his obligations. He didn’t show up for a required appointment; he didn’t respond to a request for substance abuse evaluation; he didn’t provide proof of mental health treatment, he made no payments toward court-ordered fees; and — tellingly — he failed to register as a sex offender.
Walsh ordered Jackson to go onto the sheriff’s electronic monitoring program. That presented two problems. First, the sheriff’s monitoring program is for people on bond, not for probationers, a sheriff’s spokesperson said. And second, Jackson’s hearing was on Zoom, so even if he qualified for the program, he was being trusted to turn himself in to be banded.
He never turned himself in for the program he didn’t qualify for, records show. And the probation department didn’t go out to get him.
Letters in the case court file show the sheriff’s office essentially asked the judge what she was doing and how she expected them to put someone on electronic monitoring without the person being on bond. About a week later, still on Zoom, Walsh set a recognizance bond in the case and ordered him to turn himself in.
Jackson still didn’t turn himself in. And the probation department still didn’t go get him.
In another letter on February 2, 2021, a sheriff’s office sergeant told Walsh, “Mr. Jackson has failed to comply with this order by not turning himself in…to be placed on Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring.”
Walsh issued an arrest warrant for Jackson. And nobody went to get him.
A violent sexual assault
Jackson, still on the loose nearly six weeks after Walsh issued the arrest warrant, boarded another Red Line train on March 14, 2021.
CTA surveillance cameras recorded Jackson following a 29-year-old woman from the Belmont platform, out of the station, and down Belmont Avenue as she walked home. When they got to the 3200 block of North Kenmore, Jackson grabbed the victim’s arm from behind and indicated he had a gun, Assistant State’s Attorney Hazel Gumbs said.
The woman tried to call 911, but Jackson allegedly grabbed her phone away and hit her in the face with it. Then, he forced her into an alley and down some stairs. He forced her to perform sex acts. Then, he raped her, Gumbs said. When he was finished, Jackson kissed the woman and walked away.
The victim outcried in a phone call to her boyfriend as she walked home after the attack. He called police, and officers took the woman to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment and to have a sexual assault kit completed. Gumbs said she had abrasions on her knees and buttocks and other injuries indicative of sexual assault.
A Chicago police detective who had previous encounters with Jackson recognized him from surveillance images.
Unlike the court’s adult probation department, Chicago police went looking for Jackson. They found him less than 24 hours after the victim identified him in a photo lineup, prosecutors said. He was wearing the same shoes and distinctive pants that he was seen wearing in surveillance videos leading up to the attack, according to Gumbs.
He told police he saw the woman while getting off the train and raped her because he was high, Gumbs said. Jackson allegedly admitted that the woman didn’t want to have sex with him. Police took a DNA sample from Jackson for testing.
Prosecutors charged Jackson with two counts of aggravated sexual assault with a weapon, felony aggravated robbery, and felony kidnapping.
A new deal
Jackson resolved the case by pleading guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault causing bodily harm. Prosecutors dropped 13 other felonies in their plea deal. Walsh ordered Jackson to submit DNA material for indexing by law enforcement.