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Cops under Jon Burge beat a confession from teen: lawsuit

Anthony Jakes arrives at a news conference Monday, April 1, 2019, to announce a lawsuit against the city for his wrongful conviction. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Two detectives who worked under disgraced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge beat and threatened a 15-year-old boy into falsely confessing he acted as a lookout to a murder, according to a federal lawsuit filed Monday.

The confession was the lone piece of evidence that sent Anthony Jakes to prison for 20 years. He was released in 2012.

Thirteen months later, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission found credible evidence that detectives Kenneth Boudreau and Michael Kill tortured Jakes into giving the confession.

Last April, a Cook County special prosecutor tasked with investigating the case dropped all charges against Jakes.

The wrongful-conviction lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Jakes’ attorney, Russell Ainsworth, said similar lawsuits have garnered complainants between $1 million and $2 million for each year spent in prison.

The suit names the city of Chicago, Boudreau and the estate of Kill, who died last year.

Ainsworth called the two detectives “proteges” of Burge, who was accused in numerous police torture cases. The scandal has resulted in overturned lawsuits and millions paid out to victims who sued the city.

Anthony Jakes, center, is surrounded by, from left, Uncle Rufus Pulpitus and Aunt Jessie Jakes after lawyers announced a lawsuit against Chicago for his wrongful conviction. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times
Anthony Jakes, center, is surrounded by, from left, Uncle Rufus Pulpitus and Aunt Jessie Jakes after lawyers announced a lawsuit against Chicago for his wrongful conviction. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

According to the lawsuit, at least 16 other men who were tortured by Boudreau and Kill have had their convictions overturned.

Jakes, now 42, had just turned 15 when the alleged torture occurred as the detectives investigated a shooting death outside a submarine sandwich shop in the Little Village neighborhood.

Jakes said the detectives also deprived him of food and water for 16 hours.

“A terrible injustice was done to me,” Jakes said Monday.

“When Anthony told detectives truthfully that he knew nothing about the crime and had nothing to do with it, they hit him, they knocked him out of the chair,” said Ainsworth, an attorney for the law firm Loevy & Loevy.

“At the time, Jakes was 5-foot-7 and weighed 125 pounds,” he said. “They threatened to burn him with a cigarette, they told him they would have gang members kill his family.”

Jakes said he’s unemployed but has been volunteering on the campaign of mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot.

Burge was fired from the police department in 1993. Though he was never charged directly, in 2010 he was convicted of lying under oath in civil lawsuits connected to the torture cases. He served four and a half years in prison and home confinement. He died last year in Florida at the age of 70.

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