Man gets 6 years for sexually assaulting girl he dragged into lakefront bird sanctuary

Juan Roldon is accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl after dragging her into the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. (Chicago Police Department, Chicago Park District)

CHICAGO — The Edgewater man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl after dragging her into a lakefront bird sanctuary two summers ago has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Juan Roldon, 77, had been married for 30 years and had no criminal history, “not even the proverbial parking ticket,” his lawyer said as charges were filed after the August 13, 2022, attack.

Around 2 o’clock that afternoon, the girl was walking from a family picnic toward the public restrooms when Roldon lured her into the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, prosecutors said. Once inside the sanctuary, he allegedly grabbed the girl’s breasts and private area and dragged her into some bushes.

Roldon noticed they were still within view of passersby, so he dragged the girl to a more secluded set of bushes and then sexually assaulted her, officials said.

When he finished, Roldon allegedly took a napkin from his pants pocket and wiped his genetic material from the girl’s body. The girl ran back to the party, crying, and immediately told her father what had happened.

He found Roldon in less than five minutes. Roldon initially denied any involvement, but when the girl pointed to the napkins Roldon was carrying, the father started punching Roldon until bystanders intervened and broke up the fight. The bystanders then helped the father detain Roldon until Chicago police arrived.

A grand jury returned a 63-count true bill against Roldon: seven counts of kidnapping and 56 sex crimes.

On Thursday, Roldon pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault during the commission of a felony. Judge Nicholas Kantas handed him the six-year sentence. Roldon must serve 85% of the sentence and register as a sex offender upon his release.

He reported to the Stateville Correctional Center yesterday. His anticipated parole date has not yet been published. 

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is