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2 charged, 1 sought in New Year's Eve rape of Highland Park teen

The street scene of the pole and corner down the street from the Congress Theater where the Highland Park high school student wastaken from and raped and beaten on New Year's Eve. Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

An intoxicated 18-year-old Highland Park woman collapsed in the vestibule of a Logan Square restaurant on New Year’s Eve and two teenage boys brought her to their table.

But instead of helping her, the young strangers allegedly escorted her outside and took her on a twisted walk.

The woman – who had been turned away from a concert at the Congress Theater because she didn’t have proper ID – was fondled and her purse was looted before she was raped, prosecutors say. She was found unconscious and bloody on a lawn near the theater.

On Tuesday, Cook County Judge Edward Harmening ordered Terrance Ford, 15, of the Northwest Side, and Aanwar Barbour, 16, of Oak Park, held in lieu of $750,000 bail. They were charged as adults with aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping and robbery.

A third suspect was being sought, a law enforcement source said.

“It was a group of guys who saw a girl overserved and separated from her friends, and they took advantage of her – as simple as that,” the source said.

Eight young men were in the original group, according to police.

“It’s disappointing the other guys did not take action to stop it, but that is not a crime,” the source said.

Ford and Barbour both allegedly fondled the girl and Ford raped her, according to Cook County prosecutors. Between $70 and $90 and two rings were taken from the woman.

Barbour was arrested Monday at Oak Park and River Forest High School, where, his attorney said, he is mostly a B and C student.

Ford, who goes by the nickname “Sour Dizel,” was arrested at his apartment. Sour Diesel is a name for a strain of marijuana. Ford’s Facebook page shows pictures of marijuana and a bottle of vodka.

Ford appeared in court in Homer Simpson pajama bottoms and a sweatshirt. He is a sophomore at Foreman High School on the Northwest Side of Chicago and sells subscriptions to the Chicago Tribune, according to an assistant Cook County public defender.

Court records show Ford and Barbour have been arrested in recent months for minor crimes.

The third suspect’s name wasn’t released. He is thought to have left the state and was being sought as a fugitive by the police and the U.S. Marshals Service, the source said.

Prosecutors said the evidence in the case includes surveillance video, witness statements and a DNA link between Ford and the victim.

But Barbour’s attorney, Steven Pick, maintained his client’s innocence and denied DNA linked Barbour to the victim. He claimed that cameras captured Barbour trying to help the victim.

According to prosecutors, Ford and Barbour were joined by about six other people in the restaurant, prosecutors said. They left with the victim, propping her up, and Ford allegedly said he intended to rob her and wanted to have sex with her.

Ford and Barbour sat on a curb outside the restaurant and Ford began to touch her breasts, prosecutors said.

They allegedly took her to Rockwell and Milwaukee, where they leaned her up against a chain-link fence and fondled her. The victim fell to the ground, struck her head and started to bleed.

One person told the suspects to stop, but they allegedly carried her to a more isolated residential street. Ford took her purse and Barbour went through it, taking some items, prosecutors said.

Then Ford allegedly raped the victim on a grass parkway in front of a home in the 2100 block of North Rockwell.

The victim was found after some of the young men she was seen with told theater security employees there was a naked girl on the sidewalk. The guards chased down the defendants and detained them, prosecutors said. They were questioned by police and released.

Video surveillance showed Ford and Barbour approaching the victim in the restaurant, prosecutors said.

Witnesses identified the defendants in police lineups – including some who saw the rape and robbery, prosecutors said.

Ford’s blood-stained boxer shorts were tested by the Illinois State Police crime lab and the DNA profile of the blood matched the victim, prosecutors added.

Days after the attack, the victim’s father described the community’s response.

“The high school, the letters, the gifts . . . it’s so nurturing and so caring. We’re so appreciative, it makes this thing, which is the most horrendous thing in the world, it makes it easier. You can’t imagine,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times at the time.