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Uptown man charged with grinding against female passengers on CTA

Robert L. Cook | Chicago Police

A 40-year-old Uptown man was charged with groping and grinding on two females on CTA L platforms, including a 15-year-old Whitney Young High School student.

Robert Cook approached the high school students on Oct. 25 at the Jackson L stop, complimenting the girl’s shoes as he began talking to her, Assistant State’s Attorney Julia Ramirez said Tuesday.

Cook pressed against the girl aboard the train, then offered her a seat when one opened up, Ramirez said during a bond hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

He ended up sitting next to the girl on the outer seat, blocking her from leaving, Ramirez said.

The girl got up at the next stop, and Cook followed her off the train, holding her hand, Ramirez said.

On the platform, Cook “wrapped his leg around the (girl’s) leg and began to pant,” Ramirez said. The girl fled, told her mother and made a report to police the same day.

Three weeks later, Cook approached a 23-year-old woman waiting for a train at the UIC-Halsted platform, and complimented her on her shoes, Ramirez said.

The woman ignored Cook, who then draped his arm around her neck and grabbed her hand, Ramirez said.

When the woman got on the train, Cook followed her aboard and sat beside her. When she got off, he followed her again, grabbing her hand, the putting his arm around her waist and “started panting while moving up and down her leg,” Ramirez said.

The woman broke away from Cook and ran to campus, where she reported what happened to a dean, Ramirez said.

Cook was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 bail for aggravated criminal sexual abuse and aggravated battery of a Chicago Transit Authority passenger.

If Cook is able to post the $1,000 needed to be released on bond, he is barred from using CTA trains or buses.

He also won’t have anywhere to go, except court, as Judge Mary C. Marubio ordered him, remain on house arrest while the charges are pending.