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Man charged with sexually assaulting escort at downtown hotel caught in Canada

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Cook County's Leighton Criminal Court building. | Sun-Times files

A La Grange Park man was denied bail Friday on charges that he bound and sexually assaulted a woman working as an escort last summer at a River North hotel.

Michael Melichor, 39, was brought back to Cook County on Thursday to face charges of aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping and armed robbery after he was taken into custody during a police pursuit last fall in Canada, according to authorities.

In July, Melichor responded to the 36-year-old woman’s online advertisement for escort services and was in communication with her for several months before they agreed to meet on Sept. 8 at a hotel in the 100 block of West Huron, according to Cook County prosecutors.

When Melichor entered their hotel room, he pulled out a gun and ordered the woman to get on the ground, prosecutors said. He zip-tied her hands, placed duct tape over her eyes and demanded money. He took two of her debt cards and ordered her to give her PIN number, which she did.

Melichor put a condom on and sexually assaulted the victim, prosecutors said. He re-tied her and had her lie face down on the bed where he cut off her clothes with scissors and sexually assaulted her again.

Michael Melichar | Chicago Police Department

Michael Melichar | Chicago Police Department

Prosecutors said he struck her with a metal pole he brought with him when she told him to stop or tried to remove the duct tape.

Melichor then moved the woman to a chair in the corner of the room while he put his clothes back on, prosecutors said. Before leaving, he collected the zip ties and scissors, wiped the victim’s phone passwords and cut the phone line.

Minutes after he left, the woman heard the door to the next room open, prosecutors said. She opened her door and told a witness that she had been raped and needed help. When police arrived, she still had zip ties on her wrists and duct tape on her head. She was taken to a hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected for evidence.

Hotel surveillance video showed Melichor entering and leaving the building on the day of the assault, prosecutors said. Melichor was also recorded on video surveillance at a bank when he tried to withdraw money from her account. She was able to identify Melichor as the person seen in the video footage.

A warrant was issued on Sept. 12 for Melichor’s arrest, Chicago police records show. Melichor fled to Canada before authorities could arrest him, prosecutors said.

Canadian police pursued Melichor in his car, prosecutors said. At one point, Melichor stopped his car, got out and pointed a gun at Canadian officers. No shots were fired and an “imitation firearm” was recovered from him.

An assistant public defender for Melichor said he lived in La Grange Park and was currently unemployed, but recently worked at a Cooper’s Hawk restaurant.

Judge Michael Clancy ordered Melichor held without bail during his initial court hearing Friday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

He was scheduled back in court on March 29.