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Homeless man gets 50 years for series of sexual assaults

James Whiteside | Cook County sheriff's office

A homeless schizophrenic man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually assaulting three women in Chicago in December 2013, according to prosecutors.

James Whiteside, 32, pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office. Circuit Judge Nicholas Ford accepted the plea and sentenced him to 50 years.

While armed with a knife about 10:15 a.m. Dec. 26, Whiteside sexually assaulted a 34-year-old woman, then stole her money and vehicle in the 7000 block of North Clark, police said at the time.

About 4:15 p.m. that same day, Whiteside sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman in the parking lot of a White Castle restaurant in the 3100 block of North Harlem, authorities said.

Then about 6:40 p.m. Dec. 27, a 69-year-old woman was getting into her vehicle in a secure parking lot in the 4600 block of West 59th Street after getting off the Orange Line.

That’s when Whiteside brandished a handgun and forced her into the vehicle, authorities said. He then sexually assaulted her and stole her money, cellphone and ATM card.

Prosecutors said he received a sentence of 16 years for the incident on Clark, 16 years for the sexual assault on Harlem, and 18 years for the incident on 59th Street.

Whiteside, of the 600 block of West Deming Place, will receive credit for 768 days served in Cook County Jail.