Chicago police are investigating the alleged sexual abuse of a 7-year-old who was assaulted during a virtual class last week; her teacher and fellow classmates bore witness.
The first-grader was at home when an 18-year-old male molested her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Thankfully, the incident was captured on camera, which caused the girl’s teacher to contact the authorities.
The unnamed victim is enrolled in classes at Bronzeville Academy Charter School, which has been fully remote since it reopened for the fall and uses Google classroom to livestream lessons.
During a break in the class at about 1:30 p.m., the teacher asked students to turn off their cameras and hit the mute button. And by chance, the 7-year-old victim hit the mute button but did not turn off the camera.
While the teacher could not hear anything that was happening, the girl’s camera showed the first-grader performing oral sex on the oral teen. Many students additionally witnessed the assault and were heard asking, “What’s going on? What’s happening?”
The teacher quickly ordered all of the students to exit the e-learning class, shouting, “Log off! Log off!” The teacher then immediately called out the victim’s name and instructed her to turn off her camera.
It was at that point the 18-year-old realized he had been caught and quickly closed the student’s laptop. Authorities were alerted immediately. The teacher additionally notified the school principal and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, after calling the police.
Officers were quickly dispatched to the girl’s home, where they found her with 18-year-old Catrell A. Walls. The teen, who lives on Chicago’s South Side and is reportedly still a high school student, was identified by the victim a short time later and taken into custody.
The teen broke down crying and made an admission of guilt as he was led away in cuffs according to officers for the second time this month.
“I don’t know why,” he reportedly told officers. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
He has since been formally charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old. Andreana Turano, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, reportedly told informed the judge that Walls displayed “wanton callousness for human life” by doing what he did — and not just once but on many occasions.
“The victim disclosed, ‘He made me put my lips on (him) and this has happened before, and I don’t want my daddy to know, it’s a secret,'” according to Turano.
Turano argued how the 7-year-old was not the only victim as many other young students witnessed the assault as well.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.