Bail was set today for two men accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl while she was attending a sleepover party for one of the suspects' younger sister.
Steven Johnson, 19, of the 17800 block of Chicago Avenue in Lansing, and Daniel Rucker, 20, of Calumet City, are both charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony.
The girl was visiting Johnson's home on Feb. 26 because his sister was having a sleepover to celebrate her 12th birthday, prosecutors said.
Sometime that night, the girl went to the basement for some blankets and was assaulted by both Johnson and his friend Rucker, Assistant Cook County State's Atty. Allison Sise said in court.
The party started Saturday evening and included dancing and games that continued into the late evening, police said. When the girls went upstairs for bed, the 11-year-old was sent by an adult to the basement, police said.
After the court hearing, Tom Driscoll, a deputy supervisor with the state's attorney's office, said an adult took the girl home at 9:45 a.m. the next day even though she told the adult and a friend of the attack that night.
"There were immediate outcries the day before," Driscoll said.
After returning to her home, she went to church and cried out there again, prosecutors said. Police were called.
It was not clear how many children were at the sleepover.
An investigation found evidence on a mattress in the home, Sise said. The girl identified both Johnson and Rucker in a line-up.
Rucker admitted to having sex with the girl, Sise told the judge. Johnson told police he had sexual contact with the girl.
Lansing police executed a search warrant of Johnson's home Monday evening and he was taken into custody. Rucker was arrested Tuesday evening, police said.
"As a parent, you would never think something like this would take place at a 12-year-old's birthday party," said Lansing Police Detective Sgt. Scott Bailey in a news release. "What happened to this young girl is horrific."
Children as well as other adult family members of Johnson were in the house at the time of the attack, police said. Police said they were seeking their cooperation in the investigation, and that the Department of Children and Family Services has been notified.
Johnson and Rucker are friends who work together at an advertising company, lawyers said.
Johnson lives with his mother and his 2-year old child in Lansing. He is on probation for a theft charge. As a juvenile, Rucker pleaded guilty to aggravated battery and also has a child who lives with the child's mother.
Johnson's home is just one of dozens of modest frame houses in the 17800 block of Chicago Avenue. On Thursday night the shades were drawn and the house was quiet, but several neighbors said they weren't surprised to see police -- in full SWAT gear -- at the house Monday night.
Johnson's bail was set at $750,000 and Rucker's bail was set at $500,000, by Judge Darren Edward Bowden. Their next court date is March 23.
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