Sunday, September 14, 2008

Serial suburban Chicago rapist faces life in prison after rape conviction

Tyrone Everhart, 30, is facing life behind bars for a conviction in the rape of a then 31 year old Oak Forest mother on May 28, 2005. Everhart targeted women in 3 southwest Chicago suburbs.

Everhart sneaked up on the victim, told her he had a gun and threatened her life during the attack outside the victim's home in the 16000 block of Laramie Avenue.

Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Lorraine Lynott said that the DNA evidence left behind in the rape was Everhart's calling card.

"Today is the day for justice. Tell this defendant that you know he raped (the victim) and that he is not going to get away with it."

During the three-day trial, a 35-year-old woman Everhart raped in Hickory Hills in 1994 testified against him, describing how he had abducted her in a method similar to the 2005 attack. Everhart was also convicted of a sex attack in 2000 in Tinley Park, when he dragged a woman behind a Dumpster.

Everhart's attorneys planned to have him on the stand in his defense. Kevin Kent, an attorney, stated "Mr. Everhart is going to get up on the stand and tell you what happened, he's going to tell you that the sex was consensual, that there were occasions prior to that when he had relations with her," but the defense rested without calling any witnesses.

Defense attorney Lauren Middleton told the jury "inconsistencies" in the victim's story meant Everhart should be acquitted. Outside court, she stated the defense changed course "based on our assessment of the case."

Shaun Concannon, another prosecutor, described the verdict as "extremely pleasing." The victim, fighting emotions, sat in the public gallery of the courtroom.

He also remains a suspect in the 2005 rape of a Tinley Park teen. Judge Michelle Simmons is due to sentence him Oct. 1.

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