MS13 gang member sexually assaulted his own 7-year-old son inside West Town migrant shelter, officials say

The building at 344 North Ogden now serves as a migrant shelter. (Google)

CHICAGO — A migrant who admits to being an MS13 gang member sexually assaulted his own 7-year-old son inside one of the city’s migrant shelters this month, officials said. Prosecutors claim that another resident of the shelter, curious about unusual noises in a restroom stall, captured video of the attack on his phone.

CWBChicago is not identifying the 25-year-old father by name to protect the child.

In a transcript of the man’s detention hearing, prosecutor Anne McCord Rodgers said he and the child arrived in Chicago in April and lived at the city shelter at 344 North Ogden in West Town.

The man and boy returned to the shelter after curfew at 12:39 a.m. on June 9. About 30 minutes later, another resident was inside a bathroom stall when they “heard odd noises” coming from the stall next to them, Rodgers stated.

He looked under the stall and saw two pairs of feet: one belonging to an adult and the other to a child. Unable to see over the stall divider, the man put his phone in video recording mode and raised it over the top of the stall, Rodgers explained.

The man successfully recorded two 35-second videos of the father sexually assaulting the boy, Rodgers alleged. She said the witness reported the assault to staff members, and they summoned Chicago police.

According to Rodgers, CPD officers found the father and son sleeping together in the same clothing seen in the video. She said the father told police that “he was drunk and that [the allegation] was probably true.”

When shown a frame from the video, he allegedly replied, “Now that I see it, it is true, but I sincerely — I didn’t know.”

Rodgers said the child did not make any confirming disclosures during a forensic interview later that day. After the interview ended and the camera was turned off, the boy admitted that the video showed him and his father, Rodgers stated. The boy allegedly told officials he did not tell the truth during the interview because he was scared.

Assistant Public Defender Stefan Fenner tried to discredit the boy’s post-interview statement, casting it as unreliable information from an unnamed person.

“The proof is evident even without that statement,” Judge Ankur Srivastava countered, citing the video footage.

“I cannot imagine a more vulnerable victim than a seven-year-old who was torn away from his home, torn away from his mother and sibling, is brought to Chicago, where he knows no one other than [his father], may not even speak the language,” Srivastava stated. “It is very understandable to me why they would not want to get their father in trouble, knowing that he will now have nowhere to go.”

The judge was also unconvinced by Fenner’s claim that the man had no criminal background.

Srivastava pointed out that the man has been in Chicago for barely two months, giving him limited time to build a criminal history. The father also identified himself as an MS13 gang member, the judge noted.

“He may have some history in Honduras that I’m not aware of,” said Srivastava before ordering the man detained as a safety threat.

The father is charged with one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13. Fenner said the child is now in the care of DCFS.

This story is made possible by contributions to the Cook County Courtroom Transparency Fund.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com