Suspect in Washington Park sex abuse of girl released by Chicago police: community activist

11-year-old girl attacked on Indiana Avenue, CPD has said

Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Suspect in Washington Park sex abuse released by CPD: activist
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A suspect in the Washington Park sex abuse of an 11-year-old girl was released by Chicago police, a community activist said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Family members of an 11-year-old girl who was allegedly sexually abused on Chicago's South Side last week spoke out Tuesday morning, demanding charges in the case.

A possible suspect in the attack and sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl on her way home from school has been found, according to a community activist.

The community activist told ABC7 Chicago Monday the possible suspect was spotted by community members and held until police arrived.

WATCH: Family, friends speak out on sex abuse case

Andre Smith, CEO of Chicago Against Violence, said the victim's grandmother received a photo of that possible suspect and showed it to the girl, who recognized him as her attacker.

"I showed it to my granddaughter. I said, 'who is this?' And she broke down, 'oh my god, Granny that's him,'" Lutia Payne Midcalf said. "And you trying to tell me they gonna let this man go? You telling me that? I'm not accepting that."

Smith said the suspect was released without charge, pending further investigation.

Chicago police said no one is currently in custody, and this remains an ongoing investigation.

"The individual that we speak of is a suspect but we are working with the state's attorney's office in order to build, in order to make an arrest and get to charging," said Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan.

WATCH: Chicago police speak after releasing sex abuse suspect

Despite his current freedom, police suggested they know where the man is and insisted that for justice to prevail the legal process must be followed.

"The state's attorney is not a rubber stamp to us and we have to present a strong case with evidence that the state's attorney would have a chance of approving charges," said CPD Supt. David Brown. "Everyone had to follow the law."

The child's mother and grandmother spoke at a news conference outside Chicago police headquarters about 9 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The girl's mother was emotional and being consoled by family members.

She said her daughter was 100% sure that suspect was the attacker.

A prayer circle formed outside Chicago Public Safety Headquarters, as she wept.

"She really ain't herself. She's not really on TikTok anymore. She's not eating. She's having nightmares," Lissy Wakefield said. "I don't want you guys to let him out. My daughter is scared."

Chicago police released a sketch Saturday of the man wanted for kidnapping and sexually abusing the 11-year-old girl on the South Side.

The girl was dragged into an alley and sexually abused as she walked home from school Thursday.

"I want the Chicago Police Department to bring in every sex offender that is in Washington Park into a lineup and get that baby to look at all of them, and if she points out one of them they should be dealt with," said activist Bamani Obadele. "This is a serious matter. This should not be toyed and played with."

Obadele is offering a $2,500 reward, part of a reward package totaling $4,000 and growing, for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

"We need to stand up and call a thing what it is. Time is out for this type of behavior taking place in our community and swept under the rug," Obadele said.

According to a community alert issued by police, the suspect approached the girl from behind while she was walking home from school about 3:30 p.m. in the 6200-block of South Indiana Avenue in Washington Park.

"That is a block and a half which Safe Passage should have been able to see if they were out there doing what they were paid to do," Smith said.

Police said the man put his hand over her mouth and pulled her into a secluded part of an alley, where he sexually abused her. The girl was able to break free and ran away, police said. The man fled in another direction.

SEE MORE: Police release sketch of man after 11-year-old girl sexually abused while walking home from school

The suspect is described by police as a man between 45-60 years old, between 5'8" and 5'10," with a thin build, graying hair and a mustache or goatee. He was wearing a black shirt that had a rip on the right sleeve, black jeans with a silver belt buckle and beat-up black work boots.

Police said children should walk in pairs or small groups, and any suspicious persons or activity should be reported to 911 immediately.

Anyone with information is asked to contact CPD's Special Investigation Unit at 312-492-3810. Anonymous tips an also be submitted via