Cook County Sex Crimes Prosecutors have secured a 70-year prison sentence for a serial rapist who preyed on teens and young women on Chicago’s South Side in a string of vicious sexual assaults, three of which occurred over the course of five days in 2013, according to the Office of State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Kerwinn Cross, 31, of the 9300 block of South Normal, faces multiple charges of Sexual Assault and Aggravated Kidnapping in connection with four separate attacks including three in 2013 and one in 2009. According to prosecutors, Cross, who in some cases was accompanied by a female accomplice, would target teens and young women walking alone at night or in the early morning hours and convince them to get into his vehicle. He would then take them to his home where the sexual assaults took place.
Cross received the 70-year sentence late Wednesday during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courts Building in Chicago for an attack on a 15-year-old South Side girl that occurred on June 25, 2013. He was previously convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping, Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, Attempted Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse in that case.
According to prosecutors, Cross approached the 15-year-old victim in the early morning hours as he was driving his vehicle with another male. After the victim got into the vehicle Cross drove around and then ultimately drove to his home, where he demanded that the victim engage in a sex act. After she refused to engage in sex, Cross then began to choke the victim and forcefully took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint. Cross then forced the naked teen out of the house and into his car and then drove to the vicinity of 9400 S. Eggleston where he stopped the vehicle and threw the victim out of the car.
After being assisted by a citizen, the victim was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital where a criminal sexual assault kit was collected. Forensic testing would later match DNA recovered from the victim with Cross. Police also recovered clothing from the victim where she was dumped on the street and the victim positively identified Cross in a physical lineup.
Cross is also facing charges in connection with two attacks that occurred within days of this incident including one on June 23, 2013, in which he and female co-defendant Courtney Richardson approached a 16-year-old South Side girl as she was walking home from a party and offered her a ride. The two, posing as brother and sister, then took the teen to Cross’ home where they both violently sexually assaulted the victim on multiple occasions.
Cross is also facing charges of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault and Aggravated Kidnapping for a case that occurred on June 20, 2013 in which Cross and Richardson approached a 25-year-old woman walking near 63rd and Racine and offered her a ride home. After driving the victim around on the South Side, Courtney Richardson exited the vehicle and then Cross drove to his home where he choked and slapped the victim, forcefully removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her multiple times. The victim managed to escape and flee to a neighboring home.
Courtney Richardson previously pled guilty to charges of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse and is currently serving a 58-month prison sentence.