The Associated Press
A Chicago man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old female relative in an act witnessed in an online forum used for remote teaching, authorities said.
Catrell Walls, 18, is charged with a felony count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13, Chicago police said. He was ordered held without bond Oct. 17.
Walls was seen via an online learning application performing a sexual act with the child about 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15, police said.
The teacher reported what she saw to the school’s principal, who called the girl’s family, Chicago police and authorities from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, prosecutors said.
When the girl’s father, principal and the school’s chief executive officer went to the South Side home to ask the girl about what happened, she told the principal about the assault and said it had happened before, prosecutors said.
The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital.
Police were made aware of the attack and when officers went to the home, the girl identified her attacker, and he was arrested, police said.
During an unrelated press conference on Oct. 16, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson called the situation “disturbing.”
During his interview with officers, prosecutors said Walls broke out in tears, saying of his actions, “I don’t know why, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” according to a Chicago Fox news affiliate.
Walls has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which impairs his ability to control his impulses, his defense attorney said.
But, authorities don’t seem to be buying that defense.
“This ongoing history of assault, for approximately a year, according to the victim, leads me to believe this is not something that will just stop because I have ordered it to,” Judge Charles Beach said, according to the Fox News story. “This history and his actions from this case lead me to believe that he is a threat to an individual and the community as a whole.”
Walls is due back in court Nov. 21.