Twice in the past month, CWBChicago has reported allegations that a registered sex offender had molested women on the CTA and downtown Chicago streets. But prosecutors only charged him with misdemeanors.
That changed on Thursday when officials identified four more victims and charged David Buckner, 28, with five felony charges.
Here is some background:
- In July 2017, Buckner allegedly told police that he believed he had fondled and groped about 75 women in the previous two months after prosecutors charged him with a series of related felonies. A judge eventually found him not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered him to register as a sex offender.
- On June 9, Buckner allegedly grabbed, kissed, and fondled two women on the Magnificent Mile. Cops arrested him, but, a Cook County assistant state’s attorney rejected felony charges, saying the allegations didn’t rise to that level, records show. Buckner went home after posting a $500 bail deposit two days later. The charges are still pending.
- Cops arrested Buckner again on October 9 after two women, ages 25 and 39, reported that he touched them inappropriately while they stood on a platform at the Roosevelt CTA station. Buckner was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery and walked out of the police station a few hours later on his own recognizance, according to CPD.
- Buckner was arrested again last Wednesday after he allegedly grabbed and groped an 18-year-old woman on the Loyola University campus in Chicago. Once again, he was only charged with a misdemeanor. Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered him to pay $5,000 toward bail to get out of jail, which Buckner has not yet been able to do.
Now, authorities say they have identified four more women that Buckner sexually abused in the downtown area, three this month and one in August. During a bail hearing Thursday, Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Murphy said:
- Buckner grabbed a 39-year-old woman’s buttocks from behind as they rode an escalator at TJ Maxx, 11 North State, on August 27. The victim cried out, pushed people in front of her on the escalator to get away from him, and flagged down police. But Buckner escaped.
- He confronted a 28-year-old woman who was walking to lunch near Randolph and State on October 16. Buckner grabbed her vagina with his hand over her clothing and said something to the effect of, “What? You don’t like that?” The woman ran back to the clothing store where she worked and reported what happened to a manager. She informed her supervisor that she recognized Buckner because he had been in the store two days earlier and told her she was making him get an erection. The victim identified Buckner in a photo lineup on October 18.
- Buckner entered the Sephora store, 605 North Michigan, on October 18 and tried to grab a female employee. Another employee intervened and summoned a manager. Buckner said he was looking for a gift for his wife, Taylor Swift, and then grabbed the manager’s buttocks over her clothing. The victim and a witness identified Buckner in photo lineups on October 29 and November 2.
- On October 24, two women flew into O’Hare for a business trip and took the Blue Line to Monroe. Buckner exited the train with them, and one of the women noticed that he was masturbating on the platform. She hurried her coworker along to the escalator without explaining why. Buckner walked up behind the women and continued to masturbate on the escalator until he climaxed on the second woman’s buttocks and leggings. The 30-year-old called police from her hotel room, and CPD took her leggings for DNA tests, which are still pending. The incidents were recorded by CTA cameras.
Prosecutors charged Buckner with three felony counts of aggravated battery in a public place and two felony counts of criminal sexual abuse for the latest allegations.
His public defender said he lives with his wife and five children, but suffers from mental health issues that are being medicated.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered him to pay an additional $7,500 deposit toward bail to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.