An arrest has been made in the case of a 15-year-old Chicago girl who was raped and left for dead while walking through a “Safe Passage” route to school last month.
Through DNA collected from a condom wrapper near the scene of the crime, detectives were led to Luis Alberto Pantoja, a 25-year-old Northwest Side man with a long history of arrests.
Pantoja was arrested at his home on Friday without incident and charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated battery and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.
He was ordered held without bail during a hearing on Monday. According to the Chicago Tribune, authorities asked for a sign language interpreter during the hearing because Pantoja is hearing-impaired.
His long history of crime include charges for theft, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, domestic battery after an order of protection was filed, trespassing, possession of cannabis, failure to report an accident involving death/reckless homicide, leaving the scene of accident, and eluding police. This latest arrest isn’t his first sexual assault charge. In August of 2013, Pantoja was arrested for criminal sexual assault.
As for the teen girl, who was initially reported in a coma with severe head injuries, she remains in critical condition.
“She’s doing better. Her and her family are taking it day by day, but we can only keep her in our thoughts and hope she improves. But she is doing better,” Area North Cmdr. Gary Yamashiroya, whose detectives worked on the investigation.
We wish her a speedy recovery.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Chicago Police Department