A traveling artist who goes by the name “Sammy thrashLife” was cleared of rape charges Tuesday after a Cook County judge asked the accuser why she didn’t immediately call 911 or ask a gas station attendant for help.
Judge Adam Bourgeois found no probable cause after a preliminary hearing in which the young woman described how Samuel North sexually assaulted her in his van after they met at a punk rock show at a Humboldt Park pop-up music venue in late June.
A beaming North, who was dressed in a dark suit, refused comment Tuesday but said he may talk “later.”
Days after his August arrest, North, a graduate of Georgetown University’s law school, had written on his blog, “I didn’t do this. The truth will come out.”
“He’s very, very relieved,” said North’s attorney, Julie Aimen. “The ruling was appropriate.”
Minutes before, the woman who accused North of forcing himself on her admitted in court that she went back into North’s van two times after she said she was attacked.
The 19-year-old said she was drunk and holding a flask of whiskey when she met North in the backyard of The Flowershop.
North, a painter and graphic artist, told the woman she was “cute,” showed him his artwork on his phone and handed her his business card, which read, “I’m a f—— artist, guys. Talented, charming & great at f——,” according to court testimony.
North, 29, then offered the woman a ride and she accepted. But the woman told Assistant State’s Attorney Dragana Bender that she didn’t consent to the sexual activity in the back of North’s van when they were parked in a residential street in Chinatown.
The woman said North, who has written about his penchant for rough sex on his website, pressed one of his hands on her neck during the incident in the 300 block of West 23rd Place.
The woman said she barely ate the food that she bought at a Chinatown eatery and doesn’t remember the movie North put on his computer as they sat on his bed in the back of his van.
When she suggested it was time to go home, North pushed her down, kissed her, pulled down her underwear and skirt and proceeded to sexually assault her, the woman said.
Afterward, the woman said she told North she needed to go to the bathroom. She got out of the car and called a friend to tell him what happened.
The friend, who called police, instructed her to not go back in the van. But the woman said she did after North messaged her on Facebook and asked her where she was. She said she was crying and was shaken. But she also realized that she left her backpack in North’s van, where he lived.
North continued to drive the woman to a nearby gas station where she used the bathroom. There, police rang her twice, the woman said. The friend she called earlier also called again.
“There was a gas station attendant there, and you didn’t attempt to get help?” Bourgeois asked during the hearing.
“No,” the woman replied.
The woman said she went back inside North’s van and he gave her a ride to a CTA Red Line stop. There, she was met by police and her friends.
The woman said her mother took her to the hospital the next evening.
Aimen, during cross examination, asked the woman if North ever told her that he enjoyed rough sex.
She said he didn’t.
North has performed vocals with a band called “Sh–y Children.”
One piece of his colorful art work has a caption that reads, “Have Sex With And/Or Buy Art From Me.”
When a reporter asked to see North’s business card outside of court Tuesday, Aimen said, “It’s not for me to give out.”
She then added, “It’s as creative as he is.”