A quarter-century ago, on March 4, 1997, a home invader attacked and sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman in her Portage Park home. Less than a year later, on January 28, 1998, a man accosted a woman as she walked near the Wellington Brown Line station and sexually assaulted her in his car.
The victims, who were 28- and 22-years-old when they were attacked, are now 53- and 46-years-old.
This week, prosecutors cited DNA evidence as they charged Juan Roldan, 59, of Cleveland with the crimes. U.S. Marshals arrested him in Ohio on March 10 — 25 years and six days after the first attack. Roldan is from Chicago and lived here at the time of the alleged crimes, authorities said.
In that case, a man broke into the woman’s home on the 3300 block of North Kilpatrick and sat on the edge of her bed as she slept. The woman told him to lay down, believing that the figure on her bed was one of her young children.
When the figure stood up, she immediately realized that it was a grown man, Assistant State’s Attorney Danny Hanichak said
He pulled her onto the floor, put her hand over her mouth, and punched her in the back of her head when she tried to look at him. She remembered smelling cigarettes and alcohol on him. He raped her and left.
The woman immediately filed a police report and went to a hospital for treatment and evidence collection. Several weeks later, while undergoing therapy and on medication for the attack, she picked a different man out of a photo line-up. DNA testing would eventually exclude that man as the attacker, Hanichak said.
Months later, around 1:40 a.m. on January 25, 1998, a 22-year-old woman was walking near Sheffield and Oakdale in Lakeview when a man in an old Chevy with a loud muffler offered her a ride. She declined, and he drove away.
When she turned onto the 1000 block of West Wellington, the man was waiting for her at the mouth of an alley. He grabbed her by the arm and put her into his car. The passenger seat was already reclined. She tried to get out, but he kept locking the doors. The man sexually assaulted her twice in the car as she fought and tried to push him off. He let her go when he was done.
She outcried immediately, filed a police report, and went to a hospital for treatment. She also identified Roldan in a photo line-up, Hanichak said.
DNA testing technology at the time could only confirm that a man’s DNA profile had been found on the second victim’s clothing. But a profile would eventually be developed from the materials as science advanced.
At some point, investigators put DNA profiles from the two attacks into CODIS, the FBI’s national DNA database, which didn’t even exist until ten months after the Lakeview attack.
In 2014, Chicago police got a hit on the DNA samples. They matched Roldan, whose genetic profile was entered into the database after he was arrested for domestic battery in Cleveland, Hanichak said. A Cook County judge issued an arrest warrant for Roldan on July 15, 2014, court records show.
Prosecutors charged him this week with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and home invasion. Judge Mary Marubio ordered him held without bail.