Parolee charged with robbing, sexually assaulting woman on Near North Side

Juan Sanchez allegedly accosted the woman as she walked to her doctor’s appointment and raped her in a nearby alley.

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A judge’s gavel

A man was charged with sexual assault and robbery in a July 4, 2020, attack on the Near North Side.

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A parolee accused of robbing and sexually assaulting a woman as she walked to a doctor’s appointment on the Near North Side was ordered held without bail.

Juan Sanchez pulled up next to the 37-year-old woman in a white Honda Odyssey van he had purchased the day before as she walked near Northwestern Memorial Hospital shortly before 7 a.m. on the Fourth of July, Cook County prosecutors said in court last week.

Sanchez, 37, told the woman he had a gun, demanded money and ordered her to get inside his van, prosecutors said Friday. He then drove to a nearby alley where he allegedly sexually assaulted her.

After the woman exited the car and left the alley, she noted the van’s license plate and asked to borrow a passerby’s cellphone since Sanchez had taken hers, prosecutors said. She used the stranger’s cellphone to call police and her husband.

Juan Sanchez arrest photo

Juan Sanchez

Chicago police

The woman was able to provide a partial license plate number to police. Surveillance cameras also showed the Odyssey pulling into the alley and the woman leaving the van several minutes after, prosecutors said. An assistant public defender pointed out to Judge Mary Marubio in court Friday that while surveillance cameras had recorded the van, Sanchez was not seen in the footage.

Sanchez was taken into custody the next day after detectives were able to locate the van in the 5200 block of North Lincoln Avenue. The vehicle was still registered to the previous owner.

The woman identified Sanchez in a photo array, prosecutors said.

A sexual assault kit was taken at the hospital. Results were still pending Friday.

Sanchez was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

He also faces misdemeanor counts of public indecency tied to separate incidents, police said.

Sanchez has been identified in at least two cases in which he allegedly yelled at women while masturbating, prosecutors said.

Sanchez has been convicted of burglary on three separate occasions, most recently last year, and was on parole at the time of the alleged attack.

He is expected back in court on July 29.

Read more on crime, and track the city’s homicides.

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