Worker accused of sexually assaulting mentally disabled woman at South Side group home had a record of arrests for violence

Clarence Morgan, 36, is accused of sexually assaulting the 29-year-old woman while she was living at a Hawkins CILA residential home.

SHARE Worker accused of sexually assaulting mentally disabled woman at South Side group home had a record of arrests for violence

A caretaker at a South Side residential facility for disabled adults is accused of sexually assaulting a mentally disabled woman last summer while he was on electronic monitoring on charges of shooting a man.

Clarence Morgan, 36, is accused of sexually assaulting the 29-year-old woman while she was living at a Hawkins CILA residential home near 83rd Street and Ashland Avenue, according to Cook County prosecutors and Chicago police records.

Court records show the owner of the facility was aware of Morgan’s pending felony charges and provided a letter to the court confirming his employment in October, more than a month after the woman complained about the assault to her caseworker.

The woman had been diagnosed with autism and schizophrenia and had the cognitive abilities of a 6-year-old. She told her mother in August about the assault by Morgan, prosecutors said.

The woman’s mother reached out to her daughter’s caseworker, who conducted an interview with the 29-year-old, including showing her photos of six male staff members at the facility, prosecutors said.

The woman “immediately” identified Morgan as the person who assaulted her, according to prosecutors.

Video surveillance at the home showed Morgan going into the woman’s room on Aug. 19 and shouting “get up” and then leaving minutes later while telling the woman to try to use the toilet, prosecutors said. In the video, the woman can been seen naked and sitting on a toilet in a bathroom.

Prosecutors said the woman did not require assistance bathing, using the bathroom or dressing.

In another incident on Aug. 27 that was captured on video, Morgan was seen going into the woman’s room, raising his hand with an open palm and “smacking it down,” prosecutors said.

The “point of contact” between Morgan and the woman was not seen on the video but “the smack is heard,” prosecutors alleged. Morgan could allegedly be heard yelling at the woman to “get up.” In that video the woman was fully clothed, prosecutors said.

That incident was reported to Chicago police on Aug. 30 and an interview with the woman was conducted by authorities in October, prosecutors said.

Records show Morgan was placed in custody on Monday and faces felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long Morgan worked at the facility. Court records show Morgan was removed from electronic monitoring in his pending gun cases earlier this month and was allowed movement from his home to work at five Hawkins CILA facilities in the city.

An Oct. 12 letter signed by Hawkins CILA’s owner Janice Preston informed the court that Morgan was employed by the company.

Preston did not immediately respond to a voicemail message Wednesday, and a direct supervisor for Morgan declined to comment without approval from the company.

A message left with a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which oversees care facilities in the state, was also not immediately returned.

Prosecutors said Morgan was on electronic monitoring at the time of the alleged assault while facing charges of aggravated battery with a firearm.

Morgan, who also works as a barber, allegedly got into a dispute with a client over money and was punched by the client. Morgan allegedly pulled out a gun and fired once, and then fired several more times when the client fell to the floor, shooting the man five times.

John Sullivan, Morgan’s private defense attorney, said Morgan was “violently attacked” in that incident and was defending himself. Sullivan said he had expected the case to go to trial next week.

A pending aggravated unlawful use of a weapon case against Morgan from last year was the result of police finding a gun in a car he was riding in with another person, Sullivan said.

Noting that Morgan was already on bond in the gun cases at the time of the allegations, Judge Kelly McCarthy ordered him held without bail on the latest charges. His next court date in the case was set for Dec. 12.

Morgan’s bail was also revoked on his pending gun cases, and he was expected to appear before Judge Diana Kenworthy in those cases on Tuesday, according to court records.

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