Man raped 16-year-old on Purple Line train, prosecutors allege

CHICAGO — Prosecutors have charged a Chicago man with raping a 16-year-old girl on a Purple Line train on Saturday evening.

Anfernee Thomas, 27, struck up a conversation with the girl as they waited for a train around 5 p.m. and then followed aboard, according to prosecutors. Once aboard, prosecutors said, Thomas instructed her to follow him to the back of the train, and she complied out of fear.

In the secluded booth at the end of the train car, Thomas forcefully removed the girl’s pants and raped her, prosecutors said in a detention petition. Thomas stopped the assault and left the train after his friend yelled out that they had arrived at their stop. He then boarded a Red Line train and fled, according to prosecutors.

Anfernee Thomas (Chicago Police Department, cropped CTA image by Kevin Zolkiewicz )

The victim immediately exited the train and sought help from a CTA employee, the petition said. Chicago police officers found Thomas at the Howard Station with his jacket turned inside out.

Judge Ankur Srivastava said he believed Thomas’ decision to reverse his jacket “suggest(s) consciousness of guilt.” The judge rejected a defense attorney’s argument that the girl may have had sex with Thomas willingly.

Calling the alleged assault “bold and brazen,” Srivastava granted the state’s detention petition and noted that Thomas has multiple felony convictions, including for robbery, and was AWOL from a pending in Kane County. Court records show the suburban allegations involve DUI and obstruction of police, both from the spring of 2022.

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