South Loop sex assault suspect charged

March 26, 2013 9:22:35 AM PDT
Charges were filed Tuesday in the South Loop sexual assault of a woman who was attacked as she came home from work.

Deontae Latham, 19, of Rockford, is the man police say was behind the January 9 attack near 14th Street and Clark.

Police say he had a gun and confronted his victim while she was in her car in the driveway of her home at approximately 6:30 p.m. That is when police say Latham assaulted the 56-year-old woman at gunpoint.

Authorities also say Latham then took the woman's keys, went inside her home, demanded money from her husband and forced him into a closet before taking off.

DNA links Latham to the crime, according to police.

Latham was charged him with criminal sexual assault, home invasion, and two counts of armed robbery.

The attack horrified many neighborhood residents in what some say is a quiet part of the South Loop with gated homes.

Kay Yolk, who lives in the area, was taking a walk in her neighborhood morning breathing a little easier Tuesday because of the arrest.

"Relief. I think all of us had heard about the incident; there were several community meetings regarding it. So, I think we're all relieved," said Yolk. "I walk early morning, right before it's light out. So, it's a lot safer knowing someone is in custody."

"This has always seemed like such a safe neighborhood. So, I was really surprised to hear about it, and it makes one more cautious. You want to be more careful when you're looking around and walking the dog," neighbor Patricia Carlson said.

"I'm very happy they found the guy because, you know, this is a nice neighborhood. My sister lives here, and I am very protective of my sister," Max Thomas said.

Latham also was charged with marijuana possession in Winnebago County back in 2012. He was expected to appear in bond court later Tuesday.