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Teenage Boys Charged In Brutal Sex Assault Near Congress Theater

UPDATED 03/13/12 1:58 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Bond was set at $750,000 Tuesday for two teenage boys accused in the brutal sexual assault of an 18-year-old girl near the Congress Theater in the Logan Square neighborhood on New Year's Eve.

As WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports, a judge sitting in Violence Court (Br. 66) at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse set the bonds for Aamwar Barbour, 16, of Chicago, and Terrance Ford, 15, of Oak Park. Both are charged as as adults with kidnapping, robbery, and aggravated criminal sexual assault.

LISTEN: Assistant State's Attorney Sean O'Callaghan reads the allegations


Police said the girl, a senior at Highland Park High School, came to the Congress Theater on New Year's Eve for a show by English DJ and electronic dance music producer Rusko. But she was not allowed in because she didn't have an ID.

She then went into a restaurant on Milwaukee Avenue across from the theater when she couldn't get in. She was separated from her friends, who were inside the concert venue, Assistant State's Attorney Sean O'Callaghan said in court, reading from proffered allegations.

Barbour and Ford were among a group of six boys who found the victim intoxicated in the vestibule of the restaurant around 9:30 p.m. and brought her to a table, O'Callaghan said. Some of the boys knew each other and some did not, he said.

Ford and Barbour then helped the girl out of the restaurant, having to hold her up to keep her from falling over. They walked her down a street and leaned her up against a fence, where both began to fondle her, O'Callaghan alleged.

But someone on the street came up and told the boys to stop, and they complied, O'Callaghan said.

After the boys stopped fondling her, the girl fell down and hit her head, and began bleeding, O'Callaghan said. By that point, she could no longer walk, so Barbour and Ford took turns carrying her to a more secluded street, he said.

In a front yard on the street, the group lay the victim on the ground, and pulled her pants down and her shirt up, O'Callaghan said. Ford then began to sexually assault her, the prosecutor alleged.

Someone on the street saw the group standing in a semicircle in the front yard, and approached to find the rape in progress while the others stood there watching, O'Callaghan said. When the witness came up, everyone in the group scattered, he said.

But someone who was at the scene went back to the Congress Theater and told security what happened. Theater security apprehended some of the alleged assailants, who were identified by others in their own group and by video surveillance from an unspecified source, O'Callaghan said.

Meanwhile, neighbors found the girl found lying unconscious and partially naked on a lawn in the 2100 block of North Rockwell Street. She had been beaten severely and was covered in blood, police said at the time.

Police said three suspects were initially arrested and interviewed. But O'Callaghan said they were released pending the results of DNA testing.

Ford and Barbour were arrested again when blood on Ford's underwear turned out to match that of the victim, O'Callaghan said. There was no mention of any DNA evidence from the victim's body.

The neighborhood was up in arms following the assault.

"They are animals. They are cowards. They are evil people who did an evil thing," Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st) said after the attack.

Dozens of people also rallied against rape in front of the Congress Theater, located at 2135 N. Milwaukee Ave., in the days after the attack.

Ford is a sophomore at Foreman High School, at 3235 N. LeClaire Ave. in the Northwest Side's Belmont-Cragin neighborhood. Barbour attends Oak Park-River Forest High School.

Both teens have juvenile delinquency records – Barbour for resisting arrest, and Ford from stealing from someone on three occasions, in all of which he admitted guilt, O'Callaghan said.

Ford was represented by an assistant public defender, while Barbour appeared with two attorneys. One of his attorneys said there was no DNA evidence linking him to the crime, and said there was actually evidence that he helped the victim.

"We are maintaining our client's innocence. There's no DNA that was talked about at the bond proffer from our client. It's on the other defendant, and we maintain (Barbour's) innocence," said Barbour defense attorney Steve Pick.

But the judge denied a request for a bond of just $100,000 for Barbour.

Pick also objected to his client being charged as an adult, and said he wants the case tried in Juvenile Court.

The suspects are due back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 2.

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