Violent crime on Chicago’s transit system, particularly on CTA’s train lines, has been headline news for more than 18 months. The city’s police and CTA leaders have announced plan after plan to combat the problem. Yet, violent crime reports on the transit system remain stubbornly high while ridership is down about 50% compared to pre-COVID years.
So, what kinds of sentences are handed down upon conviction when police make arrests for violent crimes on the CTA—and prosecutors approve charges? We decided to take a look. Here are the outcomes of some recently-resolved CTA crime cases.
In June 2021, Elijah Jones was accused of punching a man in the head and robbing him on the North-Clybourn Red Line platform and, about an hour later, punching and robbing a different man outside the Belmont CTA station in Lakeview. A 15-year-old boy was charged with helping Jones commit the robberies.
Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery and one count of resisting an officer causing injury on June 29. According to court records, he received concurrent 3-year sentences for the robberies plus one year for the resisting charge. He will be released on May 23, 2023.
Almost a year ago, prosecutors charged Raul Garcia with sexually abusing a woman as she rode the Orange Line in the Loop. They said the woman was in her seat when Garcia walked up and began rubbing her private area with his hand around 7:30 a.m. on September 8, 2021.
When the woman told him to stop, he told her, “I just wanted some. Give it to me,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Deboni said during a bail hearing a few days later.
Deboni said Garcia then pulled down the woman’s shirt and bra and began licking and kissing her breasts. When she tried to get up, Garcia allegedly used the weight of his body to push her back into the seat as he continued to lick and kiss her.
The victim managed to call 911 and pull the train’s emergency switch, but Garcia allegedly pushed her to the floor when she tried to speak with the train operator.
Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery of a transit passenger and one count of criminal sexual abuse by force, according to court records. Judge Angela Munari Petrone sentenced him to a pair of three-year terms that will be served concurrently. He is scheduled to be released on March 7, 2023.
A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving last year, Keno Blackmon and Jabari Walker were charged with beating a college student on his way to class at the Roosevelt Red Line station. Prosecutors said four men attacked the 22-year-old, and one of them hit the victim with a 16-inch wooden pole that resembles a billy club.
The victim suffered several chipped teeth, cuts to his face and body, and bruises and swelling to his left eye, neck, both forearms, and one shoulder.
Blackmon and Walker both pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a transit passenger before Judge John Lyke. He sentenced Blackmon to five years and Walker to three. The men will be released after serving half their sentences.
Prosecutors charged Demon Robinson with violently robbing two women in separate attacks on the Blue Line during one weekend in April 2021. They said he followed one woman from the train at Racine and punched her in the head. She lost consciousness when her head struck a handrail, and Robinson punched her twice in the face while she was down, prosecutors alleged, citing CTA video.
Then, Robinson took her purse.
The next day, he allegedly followed a woman from the LaSalle Blue Line and punched her in the back of the head on a staircase. When she turned around, Robinson punched her in the face, grabbed her leg, and pulled her down the stairs. Then, he took her phone and ran from the station.
Less than three months before the attacks, the Illinois Department of Corrections released Robinson after he served half of two concurrent ten-year sentences that he received for robberies in 2015. He had three other robbery convictions before that.
Court records show Robinson pleaded guilty to the two Blue Line muggings before Judge Joseph Claps. He sentenced Robins to 11 years on each count, to be served concurrently. Robinson is scheduled to be released in October 2026 after serving half of that time, according to IDOC records.
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