Friday, August 6, 2010

Jackson Park rapist sentenced to 40 years for attacks

(Original Post 8-23-09)
A convicted Chicago felon was held without bail for allegedly robbing and raping or fondling people at gunpoint who were visiting Jackson Park’s Osaka Japanese Garden. The rapes and robberies took place between June 24 and August 18. Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney George Canellis stated that the suspect, 40 year old Richard Martin often claimed he was robbed before robbing the victims of taking their cell phones, cash, and wallets. He accused some victims of robbing him before some attacks.

In all four attacks, women were either fondled or raped, according to Canellis. Once, Martin told a woman while fondling her that "she must keep money everywhere."

During an attack on Aug. 8, a woman ran to nearby bushes as her male friends, ages 26 and 17, gave Martin a cell phone, $250, a bank card and an ID, Canellis said. He then demanded to know where the woman, 25, went and used a flashlight to locate her. When he found her, he fondled her, Canellis said.

When Martin raped a 23-year-old woman in the June 24 incident, her frightened male friend jumped into a nearby lagoon, Canellis said. This distracted Martin assaulted the woman as she tried to retrieve her wallet, Canellis said. At that point, he told the woman, he “just wanted money anyway,” Canellis said.

Martin’s latest victims were a 50-year-old female and a 52-year-old male who had been walking over a bridge near a lagoon at the Osaka Japanese Garden, prosecutors sid.

Late Tuesday [August 18], he allegedly ordered the two to lie on the ground. Martin went through both victims’ pockets before raping the crying woman, Canellis said. He placed a gun at the woman’s throat when he assaulted her, Canellis said.

Jackson Park is located 7 miles to the south of downtown Chicago on Chicago's lakefront. It is close to the Hyde Park and South Shore neighborhoods.

(Update 8-6-10) Martin pleaded guilty yesterday in Cook County Circuit Court to 5 felonies - 3 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Martin was sentenced to 40 years imprisonment, and will be required to serve 85%,  or 34 years, before release.

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