A Chicago man has been charged with sexually assaulting a seven-year-old female relative in an act witnessed in an online forum used for remote teaching, authorities said.
Catrell Walls, 18, is charged with a felony count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13, Chicago police said. He was ordered held without bond Saturday and is due back in court November 21.
Walls was seen via an online learning application performing a sexual act with the child about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, police said. The girl had muted her speaker but left her camera on during the lesson, Fox32 reports.
Her teacher is said to have heard students asking ‘What is going on? What is happening?’ during a pause in the class. It was then she saw the alleged abuse.
She ordered the class to log off before calling out the student’s name and telling her to turn off the camera. She then ‘saw the defendant close the computer’, police said.
The teacher then reported what she saw to the school’s principal, who called the girl’s family, Chicago police and authorities from Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, prosecutors said.
When the girl’s father, principal and the school’s chief executive officer went to the South Side home to ask the girl about what happened, she told the principal about the assault and said it had happened before, prosecutors said.
The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital.
Police were made aware of the attack and when officers went to the home, the girl identified her attacker, and he was arrested, police said.
Walls is said to have told police: ‘I don’t know why, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’
During an unrelated press conference on Friday, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson called the situation ‘disturbing’.
Walls has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which impairs his ability to control his impulses, his defense attorney said.
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SOURCE: Associated Press / Mail Online – LAUREN FRUEN