Registered sex offender raped, robbed woman at gunpoint, Chicago officials say

Zebedee Thomas (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — A registered sex offender robbed and raped a woman at gunpoint and threatened to shoot the woman if her companion intervened, officials say.

Judge Shauna Boliker detained Zebedee Thomas, 22, after hearing about the allegations during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Boliker noted that the allegations are similar to a sexual assault case that Thomas pleaded guilty to as a juvenile.

The victim and a witness were seated in a car in the 10800 block of South Edbrooke when Thomas knocked on the window with a gun around 2:45 p.m. on August 4, 2023, officials said. He demanded property and the woman surrendered her phone when Thomas threatened to shoot her, prosecutors said in a detention petition.

Thomas allegedly ordered the woman to perform oral sex, and he threatened to shoot the victim if the witness moved. He proceeded to force the victim into the back of the car, where he raped her while pressing a gun to her back, the petition said.

The victim immediately reported the attack at a Chicago police station and went to a hospital for treatment. DNA testing of evidence collected at the hospital matched Thomas, the petition said. Prosecutors charged him with aggravated criminal sexual assault with a firearm and armed robbery with a firearm.

Judge Boliker’s detention order stated that Thomas pleaded guilty to criminal sexual assault as a juvenile. In that case, the judge wrote, Thomas forced a 7-year-old neighbor to perform oral sex while threatening to shoot them with a paintball gun. He received a four-year sentence for unlawful imprisonment in Kentucky in 2022, Boliker wrote.

According to Kentucky’s prisoner tracking site, Thomas will be under supervision until 2027.

Last September, about six weeks after he allegedly robbed and sexually assaulted the woman in Chicago, Thomas was arrested for allegedly selling crack cocaine to an undercover police officer at Pritzker Park in the Loop. He is charged with manufacture-delivery of crack and manufacture-delivery of cannabis in that case, which is still pending.

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