Man sexually assaulted girl after dragging her into Montrose bird sanctuary, prosecutors say

Juan Roldon is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after dragging her into the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. | CPD; Chicago Park District

A stranger sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl after he dragged her into bushes at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary adjacent to Montrose Harbor over the weekend, prosecutors said.

“If this defendant were to be released, it would put any child in a public area at risk,” prosecutor Danny Hanichak told Judge Maryam Ahmad during a Tuesday afternoon hearing. “This defendant needs to remain in custody until the case is resolved.”

Ahmad agreed and granted the state’s request to hold Juan Roldon, 76, without bail.

Around 2 p.m. Saturday, the girl walked from a family picnic toward the public restrooms when Roldon lured her into the sanctuary, Hanichak said. Once inside the sanctuary, he grabbed the girl’s breasts and genitals, then dragged her into some bushes, Hanichak said.

Roldon noticed they were still within view of passers-by, so he dragged the girl to a more secluded set of bushes and then sexually assaulted her, according to the allegations.

When he finished, Roldon took a napkin from his pants pocket and wiped his semen from the girl’s body, Hanichak continued. The girl ran back to the party, crying, and immediately told her father what had happened.

Hanichak said that the father found Roldon in less than five minutes, and the girl confirmed that he was the assailant. Roldon initially denied any involvement, but when the girl pointed to the napkins Roldon was carrying, the father began punching Roldon, according to Hanichak.

Bystanders broke the men up and helped the father detain Roldon until police arrived.

A witness pointed police to a napkin or towel Roldon allegedly dropped on a nearby trail. It was recovered for testing by police evidence technicians. The girl was treated at Weiss Memorial Hospital.

Roldon’s private defense attorney, Joseph Ortyl, said he has no criminal history, “not even the proverbial parking ticket.” He said Roldon served in Vietnam and has lived in the same Edgewater home for 30 years with his wife.

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