Prosecutors charge man with 2017 sexual assault after women accuse him of battery, assault on NW Side streets

Trevor Heinlein | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A Northwest Side man initially arrested for threatening a woman who refused to give him her contact information on a Jefferson Park street is facing much more serious charges after Chicago police linked him to other crimes, including a 2017 sexual assault.

Trevor Heinlein, 25, was ordered held without bail by Judge Maryam Ahmad on charges of criminal sexual assault by force, criminal sexual abuse by force, unlawful restraint, battery, and assault, according to a transcript of his bail hearing.

The allegations involve four women, including three who claim they were victimized by Heinlein this summer.

Most recently, a woman called police after Heinlein threatened her in the 4600 block of North Melvina around 5:30 p.m. on August 1, officials said.

The woman was walking her dog when he rode up on his bike and asked for her Snapchat and phone number, Assistant State’s Attorney Neena Scaria said.

When the woman said she didn’t have a Snapchat, Heinlein said something to the effect of, “I’ll smack the ‘F’ out of you for lying” and followed her on his bike, which prompted the woman to call 911, according to Scaria.

Chicago cops found Heinlein nearby and took him into custody for misdemeanor assault. But investigators soon linked him to three other cases involving female victims.

One woman accused him of slapping her buttocks as he rode past her on his bike on July 28.

In late June, another woman reported that Heinlein approached her at a gym in Norridge, and they exchanged numbers, eventually meeting up for a dinner date on June 27. After eating, Heinlein suggested playing minigolf but first invited the woman to his house because it was still early, Scaria said.

She agreed and sat on the edge of his bed, watching TV as he lay nearby. She declined an invitation to cuddle with Heinlein, and he became aggressive, pulling her down, pinning her, and reaching under her clothes, Scaria alleged.

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The woman pushed Heinlein off and made her way to the door, but he blocked her path and began pleasing himself in front of her, according to the allegations.

“[The] victim told him to stop doing that because it was gross, but he just laughed,” Scaria said, according to the transcript.

After getting outside, the woman called a rideshare and called her roommate to report what happened.

Scaria said the woman went to a suburban hospital for treatment and secured a stalking no-contact order against Heinlein after the incident.

Heinlein is also now charged with a criminal sexual assault that a 20-year-old woman reported six years ago.

She knew Heinlein through mutual friends but hadn’t seen him since high school, when he contacted her via Snapchat in August 2017, Scaria said.

Noting that he was attending the same school where the woman had been accepted, Heinlein invited her to hang out.

They met up to smoke weed, according to Scaria. She said the woman wanted to smoke it in Heinlein’s car, but he didn’t want to do that, so they went to the woman’s home and smoked on the porch.

Heinlein began touching the woman over her clothing, and the woman informed Heinlein that she had a boyfriend and was not interested, Scaria alleged. She said Heinlein told the woman he had a girlfriend but cheated on her.

Scaria said Heinlein followed the woman into her home, grabbed her from behind, put his arm around her neck, and sexually assaulted her on the living room couch. He stopped when the woman expressed concern that her brother might witness the attack, according to Scaria.

But he grabbed her by the throat and sexually assaulted her again before leaving, Scaria said.

The woman immediately reported the attack to her boyfriend and others, then went to a hospital for treatment. Testing of DNA evidence recovered at the hospital produced a match to Heinlein, Scaria said, but she did not say when the test results came back.

Heinlein’s defense attorney, Gabrielle Christian, questioned why the state waited so long to file charges.

“This should have been taken care of back in 2017,” Christian argued, adding that Chicago police detained Heinlein for 48 hours in 2017, but they released him without filing charges.

Christian’s argument did not persuade Judge Ahmad.

“The court is not convinced or moved by the amount of time, understanding the amount of investigation that goes into a criminal sexual case, understanding the amount of time that goes into a [DNA] analysis, and the fact that we just came off of a global pandemic,” Ahmad said. “So the court is unmoved by the argument regarding the delay in time.”

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