CHICAGO — Christopher Puente, the Chicago man accused of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl inside a restroom at the former Rock ‘n’ Roll McDonald’s in February 2020, has been sentenced to 20 years, according to court records.
Puente, 37, pleaded guilty to predatory sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 before Judge Stanley Sacks on Friday. Sacks ordered Puente to submit DNA for indexing by law enforcement and said Puente would have a post-prison supervised release period of three years to life.
The attack occurred as the girl and her family were having breakfast at the restaurant, 600 North Clark, on February 17, 2020.
Officials said the father took the girl into the restroom because he had to help her brother, who had an accident. Puente lured the girl into a stall directly next to where her father and brother were located and locked the door.
Prosecutors said he put the girl on his lap, removed her pants and underwear, and sexually assaulted her. He used his hand to muffle the girl’s cries for help, but her dad heard the commotion, looked over the top of the stall, and saw what was happening.
The father couldn’t open the locked stall door, so he grabbed his daughter’s legs and pulled her out from under it, officials said. He immediately called the police, but Puente was gone when officers arrived.
Puentes would later tell investigators that he was “f*cked up and thinking dirty” when he assaulted the girl, prosecutors alleged.
Chicago police released surveillance images of the attacker to the public, and cops arrested Puentes within hours after he refused to leave a condo building’s parking garage in the 500 block of North Dearborn. Arresting officers immediately recognized Puente as the man who detectives were seeking in the sexual assault and noticed he was wearing the same clothing as the attacker.
Four days before the McDonald’s attack, Puente was arrested for groping a woman and pushing her to the ground near State and Grand, according to CPD records. He was charged with misdemeanor battery and released on his own recognizance within seven hours.
Prosecutors dropped two kidnapping charges in their plea deal with Puente.
After Puente was charged with sexually assaulting the girl, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a press release saying it tried to lodge an immigration detainer on Puente with the Chicago Police Department in June 2019 because he was “a previously deported aggravated felon illegally present in the United States.”
But the detainer was not honored and Puente remained in Chicago, the agency said.
Asked in 2020 if she stood by the city’s decision, Mayor Lori Lightfoot replied, “If ICE is complaining, then they should do their job better.”
“They’re critical because we have said very clearly we are a welcoming city, a sanctuary city. Chicago Police Department will not cooperate with ICE on any immigration-related business.”