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No bail for man charged with assaulting autistic girl

By Geoff Ziezulewicz

Tribune reporter

4:51 PM EDT, June 23, 2013

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A 30-year-old Chicago man has been ordered held without bail after being charged with assaulting a 13-year-old autistic girl as she slept in her Northwest Side home last week, officials said.

Edwin Hernandez has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and home invasion, police said. Cook County Bond Court Judge Adam Donald Bourgeois Jr. set no bail Sunday.

Hernandez is accused of climbing through a window to get to the girl's bedroom and assaulting her as she slept, police said. The attack happened between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on June 16 on the 4800 block of North Ridgeway Avenue in the Albany Park neighborhood, police said at the time. Hernandez lives just blocks away, on the 4600 block of North Lawndale Avenue.

Hernandez got to know the victim, an autistic teen who had the mental capacity of a 2 or 3-year-old, because he is friends with her baby sitter, Assistant State's Attorney Bridget O'Brien said.

After learning where she lived, Hernandez had watched her on three different occasions and had previously attempted to enter the home before the night of the attack, she said.

On the night of the attack, Hernandez went to the victim's home after attending the Puerto Rican Festival, O'Brien said.

He climbed in through a window and had kissed and fondled the girl before raping her, according to O'Brien.

An unidentified witness heard Hernandez in the girl's room and alerted her parents, O'Brien said.

The victim's parents found muddy footprints on the victim's window sill and called police, O'Brien said.

Hernandez's fingerprints were also found on the bedroom window, she said, and a subsequent DNA test matched him.

Hernandez admitted to the crime, according to O'Brien, and said he thought the victim was 10 or 11 and that she was "sick in the head, and her mind was not right."

Hernandez said he stopped after the victim became upset because he was hurting her, O'Brien said.

He was arrested Friday on a sidewalk on the 5000 block of North Pulaski Road, according to court records.

Hernandez has a pending criminal damage to property charge and a 2007 felony burglary conviction, according to O'Brien.

gziezulewicz@tribune.com
Twitter: @JournoGeoffZ