6-year sentence for man who allegedly attacked woman after posing as Amazon driver

Forrest Petersen (inset) and surveillance images of the home invader that were released by Chicago police. | CPD

A Chicago man who prosecutors accused of sexually assaulting a woman after entering her home by posing as an Amazon delivery driver has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Forrest Petersen, 59, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of home invasion causing injury, which was initially filed as a home invasion involving a sex offense. He will be paroled on January 3, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records, after serving half of his sentence.

At around 8:10 p.m. on December 29, 2019, a man knocked on a woman’s door in the 4200 block of North Francisco with a large parcel purportedly from Amazon. Because the box was heavy, he offered to bring it into her house.

The 29-year-old Albany Park woman accepted his offer. But, prosecutors said, once inside the house, he sexually assaulted her and tried to force her into a bathroom. She fought back, and the man fled.

The next day, detectives released images of the man obtained from the woman’s home security system to the public. According to court records, an anonymous tipster saw the police bulletin and advised officers that the intruder appeared to be Petersen. The victim could not identify Petersen in a photo line-up, court records show.

Police learned that Petersen, who listed a home in the suburbs, also had a residence about two blocks from where the assault occurred. They pulled his Link card records and secured additional video surveillance from stores where he made purchases, court records say. Some of that footage showed him wearing the same clothing as the assailant, prosecutors alleged.

However, according to court records, police obtained Petersen’s Link records without a warrant, and his defense attorney successfully argued last month for that evidence to be suppressed.

Prosecutors dropped eleven felonies in their plea deal with Petersen, including some that would have required him to serve 85% of his sentence instead of the standard 50%. Among the charges dropped were two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault; three counts of home invasion involving a sex offense; four counts of residential burglary; and two counts of criminal sexual abuse during the commission of a felony.

Petersen received 395 days of credit for time spent in custody before being sentenced. Court records show that Judge Steven Watkins, who oversaw the case and sentenced Petersen, also issued a civil no-contact order to protect the victim.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com