Bond set in Lansing sleepover sex assault

March 3, 2011 3:26:27 PM PST
Two men accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl at a sleepover birthday party in Lansing appeared in court Thursday.

Steven Johnson, 19, of Lansing, and Daniel Rucker, 20, of Calumet City, are charged with predatory criminal sexual assault. Bond for Johnson was set at $750,000 and bond for Rucker was set at $500,000.

Police say the victim was attending a friend's 12th birthday party Saturday when she was told to go downstairs to get more blankets before bed. Johnson, who lives in the basement, allegedly attacked the girl in the basement first. Rucker then followed.

The girl said she told a friend and an adult at the party about the assault. But it wasn't until she told someone at church about the attack on Sunday that she was taken to a hospital and a rape kit was done. Police also said they found DNA evidence in the home.

Johnson was arrested Monday. A neighbor who did not want to be identified said, "Monday night we watched the, you know, police storm the place in their riot gear and everything else like that and wondering what is going on. We finally hear this morning, and it's a shame. It really is."

Rucker was arrested Tuesday evening.

"Rucker admitted to raping the victim," Tom Driscoll, Cook County state's attorney deputy supervisor.

Johnson and Rucker are not allowed to have contact with the girl's family or be near her home or place of worship. The offenders' families are also barred from contact with the victim or her family.

The victim's family was at the courthouse but did not talk. Neither did the suspects' families.

Police would not comment on their investigation.

Brian Kheros, who is president of the neighborhood watch group where the attack took place, said "It is absolutely not a shocker at all. It is just a long list of things that has happened. . . It's disgusting. It's absolutely terrible. It doesn't surprise me that he's graduating to a higher level of crime."

As a result of the police investigation, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is now investigating as well. Both men are due back in court on March 23.

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