A Chicago man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for trying to sexually assault a tourist who was traveling with her suitcase on a CTA train last year.
Darren Jones, 23, pleaded guilty to one count of attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault in exchange for the sentence from Judge Diana Kenworthy. Prosecutors dropped five other felonies, including robbery and aggravated battery charges.
Jones was on parole for three felonies when he and the victim, whom he did not know, boarded a Green Line train at the Roosevelt station around 11 a.m. on April 1, 2021.
As the train moved along, Jones walked across the car and asked the woman to perform oral sex, prosecutors said. The woman told him to leave her alone. He returned to his seat for a moment and approached the woman again with his penis exposed as he pleasured himself.
Prosecutors said Jones pulled the woman toward his private area by her shoulders, then pulled his arm all the way back and swung his hand forcefully into her face.
The woman tried to run away, but Jones allegedly grabbed her from behind, and the two fought on the train. He allegedly took her purse from her jacket and ran out the door when the train pulled into the next station. The victim also got off the train and called the police.
A Chicago police officer recognized Jones in CTA surveillance images of the attack, and investigators tracked him down a few days later near the Roosevelt CTA station.
In addition to the nine-year sentence he received for assaulting the woman on the train, Jones received a consecutive four-year sentence for attempted arson. Prosecutors said he set a mattress on fire inside Cook County jail on February 12. He must also register as a sex offender for life.
Jones will get a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior and 467 days credit for time spent in jail after his arrest. According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, he is scheduled to be released on October 1, 2027.