In January 2019, CWBChicago published a story headlined, “Why are there so many perverts on the CTA? Maybe because authorities keep putting them back on the street.”
It began, “Ever wonder why there are so sexual deviants riding CTA trains? It turns out that the answer, in part, may be that Chicago’s criminal justice system keeps returning those men to the streets rather than locking them up or finding treatment options.”
We profiled three men who had been repeatedly arrested and released for sexual misconduct on CTA train lines, including a man named Demarlin Brewer. The 2019 report said:
Demarlin Brewer, 44, is charged with exposing himself to a 12-year-old girl on a Red Line train near the Berwyn stop on Nov. 17. The victim’s father identified Brewer, who was ordered held on $20,000 bail. According to Chicago police records, Brewer had been arrested twice, charged with public indecency twice, and released twice during October alone. Both of the earlier arrests were in Lakeview.
Last summer, Brewer was arrested for public indecency on the tranist system again. Prosecutors said he stood outside the Roosevelt train station’s customer service booth and fondled himself in front of the CTA agent. The worker asked him to leave, but Brewer continued to fondle himself, according to prosecutors. It was all recorded on video.
Brewer walked out of the Central (1st) District police station less than eight hours later on his own recognizance. At the time, he was already on bail for burglarizing an Edgewater apartment building’s package room. Prosecutors say Brewer stopped showing up for his court dates in both cases earlier this month.
Brewer, now 47, was back in court Friday morning to face charges of sexually assaulting and robbing a 52-year-old woman that he followed from a CTA bus in Old Town on Monday.
The woman left work Monday evening and noticed Brewer sitting on the bench at her bus stop near the intersection of State and Grand around 10:45 p.m., Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said. Brewer allegedly boarded the #36 bus behind the woman, sat across from her, then exited behind her at when she exited at Lincoln. Murphy said the two had never met before.
Brewer continued to follow the woman onto the 1700 block of North Wells, then came up behind her with a 19-inch metal rod as she entered a courtyard, Murphy said. He pushed her toward a raised garden box.
The woman told Brewer to take anything he wanted, but he instead ordered her to lie down, according to Murphy. He told her to remove her tights, then forced her to perform oral sex, Murphy said.
After the sexual assault, Brewer allegedly demanded the woman’s money, but she didn’t have any. So, he took the woman’s earrings and portable computer monitor instead, said Murphy.
Police responded to the victim’s 911 call and found several articles of clothing and the metal rod. DNA testing of a sexual assault kit is pending.
CPD released surveillance images of the assault suspect Wednesday. That same day, a building manager on the first block of West Hubbard saw Brewer and recognized him as the person who broke into a bar and stole packages the day before, Murphy said.
Police responded to the building manager’s call and arrested Brewer on the 400 block of North State. He was wearing the same clothes as the sexual assault suspect, Murphy said, and the victim identified Brewer.
Prosecutors charged Brewer with aggravated criminal sexual assault with a weapon, armed robbery, burglary, and misdemeanor theft. Murphy said he has previous felony convictions for robbery and burglary.
Brewer has been arrested seven times for public indecency and has eight misdemeanor convictions, according to Murphy.
Judge Maryam Ahmad noted that the state filed a request to hold Brewer without bail but, because Brewer was hospitalized on Friday and was not physically present in court, state law barred her from approving their request.
Instead, Ahmad said Brewer would need to post $3 million in cash to get out of jail on the latest charges. Separately, she ordered him held without bail for violating the terms of bail in his pending burglary case.
He is due back in court on June 2.