Two brothers charged in serial rapes

SHARE Two brothers charged in serial rapes

BY STEFANO ESPOSITO

sesposito@suntimes.com

Two North Side brothers arrested last weekend in a series of alleged sexual assaults stretching back to 2003 had been in and of jail “multiple times” on less serious charges — but beefing up an Illinois law might have ended the sex attacks far sooner, a Cook County official said Wednesday.

Leondo Joseph, 38, and LB Joseph, 29, both appeared in court at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building Saturday and are being held without bond.

Leondo Joseph is charged in six sexual assaults, while his brother is accused in two of those, a law enforcement source said. All of the alleged assaults occurred in the city, the source said. DNA testing allegedly linked the brothers to the attacks, the source said.

While they were allegedly committing the sex crimes, the Joseph brothers had been arrested several times for less serious crimes, said Cook County Jail Director Cara Smith.

In some states, jails take DNA swabs of all inmates, whether they’re charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

But in Illinois, only certain felonies qualify for DNA testing, Smith said. And because the Joseph brothers were previously arrested and charged in relatively minor crimes, they couldn’t be swabbed, Smith said.

“Had Illinois law permitted swabbing offenders at any time during the years they were getting arrested for misdemeanor offenses while allegedly committing these horrendous crimes, they would have been identified much sooner,” Smith said.

Smith also said the Illinois Crime Lab is chronically underfunded, leading to a backlog in testing DNA samples.

The Latest
Candace Parker reached another career milestone, becoming the fifth player in WNBA history with 600 career blocks.
The nearly 500 protesters also put tape over their mouths as a silent protest against social media’s “sensitive content” tag they say is being used to block news stories of Russian acts of terror.
A new report lays bare how far our state has to go since the disruption caused by COVID-19.
The boy was arrested moments after allegedly trying to take a vehicle from a man Saturday in the 3800 block of West Arthington Street.
“Let me put it this way,” Krishnamoorthi said Sunday. “I think that the Prime Minister of Japan said he gets a lot of advice from Rahm Emanuel directly.”