A convicted felon was sentenced to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint in 2016 after breaking into her south suburban Park Forest home.
Dexter Harris, 32, of Chicago, was found guilty of two counts of home invasion and single counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and armed robbery, according to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. Harris has a record of similar criminal offenses, including sexual assaults, robberies and thefts.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 9, 2016, a masked Harris broke into the woman’s home and forced her to take off her clothes at gunpoint, prosecutors said. He then placed her over her kitchen sink with a shirt over her head while he fondled her.
The woman’s 5-year-old child was at the home during the attack, prosecutors said. The child was unharmed.
Harris also made off with the woman’s debit card and electronic devices, including a television, prosecutors said. In addition, he used the woman’s Cherolet Malibu to drive to an ATM, but later returned the car to her driveway before taking off.
Harris was taken into custody Nov. 28, 2016 after officers responded to a report of a “suspicious person lurking near an apartment building,” prosecutors said. When officers approached Harris, he had no identification and was carrying a screwdriver.
Harris gave officers the name of the sister he was staying with at the time, prosecutors said. After the sister gave them permission to search her home, detectives found a distinctive sweatshirt that had been identified by a victim in a previous attack. Detectives also recovered items that had been stolen in previous home invasions, including in the Park Forest incident.
Harris is also accused of committing a string of similar offenses that happened in October and November of 2016 in Cook County, prosecutors said. He has either been charged or remains under investigation in those cases, which were used as evidence in his trial in Will County.
“For months, Dexter Harris terrorized women throughout the South Suburbs when they should have felt safe inside their homes,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement. “He is a monster and a menace who violated the sanctity of their bodies and their homes until he was brought down by vigilant detectives and dedicated prosecutors”
Harris was sentenced to 40 years in prison, prosecutors said. As a result of his latest conviction, Harris must register for life as a sex offender.