Skateboard groper is slapped with more felonies involving 3 more women; ‘Have a nice day, sweetheart’

Victor Manuel-Reyes (center) and images of the suspect. | CPD; | @Segway_Ruins

Prosecutors on Friday filed three more felony charges against a Chicago man who was charged this summer with groping four women in the downtown area while riding a one-wheeled motorized skateboard. The new charges stem from allegations by three women who were targeted in similar attacks in September 2021 and June this year.

Victor Manuel-Reyes, 36, is now charged with three additional counts of criminal sexual abuse. He has been on electronic monitoring since prosecutors charged him in August with criminal sexual abuse, criminal sexual assault, and aggravated battery involving four women.

The newly-filed charges are based on allegations from three different women who recently identified Manuel-Reyes as the man who assaulted them, prosecutors said.

According to Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Murphy:

  • (Graphic content) A 32-year-old woman was walking on Wabash Avenue on September 16, 2021, when Manuel-Reyes rode up behind her on a motorized one-wheel skateboard. He grabbed her buttocks and penetrated her anus with his finger through her clothing. The woman pushed him, and he laughed as he rode away. She filed a police report the same day.
  • (Graphic content) A 37-year-old woman said Manuel-Reyes rode his motorized skateboard behind her on June 1. He put his hand on her shoulder and penetrated her vagina and anus through her clothing with his hand. The woman screamed, and Manuel-Reyes rode away, saying, “Have a nice day, sweetheart.”
  • (Graphic content) Manuel-Reyes rode up behind a 41-year-old woman on the Lakefront Trail on June 5 and grabbed her vagina through her clothing. He told her to “have a nice day” as he skateboarded away. The woman saw Manuel-Reyes on the trail again a few weeks later and filed a police report on August 15.

According to his defense attorney, Manuel-Reyes lost his job at a restaurant near Navy Pier after police arrested him there in August. He is married and has no criminal background.

Judge Mary Marubio ordered Manuel-Reyes to pay an additional $1,000 bail to get out of jail on the new charges. For the earlier charges, he had to put down a $4,000 bail deposit to go home on electronic monitoring. Marubio, calling Manuel-Reyes “a danger to women in the community,” said he must stay on an ankle monitor.

Previous allegations

Chicago police arrested Manuel-Reyes after he showed up for work on August 12. His boss called 911 to turn him in after recognizing him in media coverage about a man who had been groping women throughout the downtown area.

Manuel-Reyes was charged with groping four women, with the first incident occurring May 11, about a block from his workplace on the Lakefront Trail flyover bridge, prosecutor Anthony Garcia said in August.

A woman was walking her dog when Manuel-Reyes rolled up on his scooter and reached under the woman’s clothing to touch her private areas, Garcia alleged. The victim posted about the incident on Next Door, he said.

All three of the other charges stem from alleged similar attacks on August 4. Women reported being assaulted by a man on a one-wheeled motorized skateboard that day in the 1200 block of South Michigan Avenue, the 1600 block of South Blue Island Avenue, and the 1100 block of South State Street.

The Blue Island incident took place about three blocks from Manuel-Reyes’ home, according to information provided by CPD. The victim secured surveillance video from a nearby house that showed Manuel-Reyes approaching her before the assault, but a tree blocked the camera’s view of the actual attack, Garcia said.

He added that CTA surveillance cameras at the Roosevelt CTA station recorded the entire incident on State Street. Police included some of those images in a community alert that led to his arrest.

Garcia said that someone who used to work with Manuel-Reyes identified him from the CPD bulletin and contacted the police. Some of the victims could not pick him out of photo line-ups because they only saw the back side of the attacker, according to Garcia. But Manuel-Reyes allegedly identified himself in surveillance images from some of the attacks.

During an interview with police, Manuel-Reyes allegedly admitted touching three women wearing something “hot and short” that they “looked good in.”

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