Man harassed, sexually abused and robbed woman on CTA platform: prosecutors

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For the first three months of this year, the CTA provided 52.7 million L rides — down 3.7 percent from 54.7 million in the same period last year. | Sun-Times files

A 29-year-old man is accused of sexually abusing a woman and stealing her wallet on a West Side CTA platform in December.

Jesse Winford, of the Tri-Taylor neighborhood, is charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery in a public place, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Assistant State’s Attorney Geetu Niak said a charge of robbery was likely to be added when Winford appeared in court for a bail hearing Thursday.

About 8:20 a.m. Dec. 6, 2017, Winford and the 18-year-old woman were walking down a ramp at the Cicero Station on the Blue Line when he began catcalling her, Niak said.

Jesse Winford | Chicago Police

Jesse Winford | Chicago Police

Winford followed the woman to the platform and approached her from behind while she was waiting for a train, Niak said. He grabbed her buttocks and reached around to grab her between her legs with his other hand over her clothes.

When she pulled away from him, she dropped her wallet and Winford grabbed it and ran off, Niak said. CTA surveillance cameras captured the incident, and the woman reported what happened to an advisor at the college she attends. A police report was made and images taken from the surveillance video were posted in the area.

Chicago Police released these surveillance photos of the suspect in the incident at the Cicero Blue Line station in December. | Chicago Police Department.

Surveillance photos of the suspect of the incident at the Cicero Blue Line station released in December. | Chicago Police.

A CTA employee recognized Winford from the distributed images while he was standing on a Blue Line platform on Wednesday and police were called, according to Niak and Chicago Police records. After being taken into custody at the Homan-Kedzie Station, Winford identified himself in the photos and said the wallet contained $5.

Niak said that police were investigating a similar incident that happened in September 2017 on a Blue Line train. In that case, a 17-year-old girl reported being grabbed and kissed by a man on a train while he held her arms until a good Samaritan intervened.

Niak said Winford was identified in a photo array in that case, but has not been charged as of Thursday.

Judge Sophia Atcherson set Winford’s bail at $100,000. His next court date was scheduled for April 11.

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