Anti-violence rally held near site of teen's sex assault

January 10, 2012 4:53:09 AM PST
A rally against violence was held in Chicago Monday night near the scene where a teenager was sexually assaulted and left unconscious on New Year's Eve.

Residents of Logan Square gathered in front of the Congress Theater, not far from where police say a group of young men severely beat and raped an 18-year-old woman on December 31. They wanted to send a message to the community -- and to the attackers.

"To show people who committed this crime that it's not OK and we won't stand for it in our neighborhood," said Kate Sobotka, resident.

"People in the community really want to express solidarity and, this is not OK. And we want to support the victim," said Cathy Hannah, resident.

"It could have happened to anyone. It's not the first time. I think this is why we're here today," said Bernadette Laurel, resident.

Authorities found the victim in a nearby yard unconscious about 9:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve. Police say after she was turned away at the Congress Theater for not having proper identification. She was later seen leaving a restaurant in the neighborhood with three young men before she was found.

"They are animals, they are cowards, they are evil people who did an evil thing to that woman," said Alderman Joe Moreno, 1st Ward.

Police have questioned several people, including three juveniles witnesses saw in the area where the victim was found. But so far have filed no charges. Authorities vow to solve this case.

"What they did was vicious, what they did was violent, and what they did was disgusting. We will not stop until we get every single person involved," said Commander Linda Flores, 14th District.

The victim whose sexual assault prompted the rally was not there. However, her family told ABC7 they appreciate the community's efforts and want everyone to know she is doing well.