WEST TOWN — About a half dozen neighbors are planning to attend a bond hearing this week for the man accused of beating, kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old West Town woman last year.
Around 7 a.m. on Aug. 26, 2018, the woman was walking from the CTA Chicago Blue Line “L” station to a West Town business when a man allegedly followed her, grabbed her from behind, pulled her into a nearby alley and severely beat and raped her.
The woman was hospitalized with traumatic brain injuries and shattered facial bones. At the time, prosecutors said the woman was in “a concussed state, unable to speak or see,” the Sun-Times reported.
The next week, Rufus Carson, 37, was arrested in the 3800 block of West Division Street, police said.
Carson is due back in court 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Central Bond Court, 2600 S. California Ave.
West Town neighbor Julie Sawicki, who is contact with the victim’s family, said she’s trying to rally as many neighbors as possible to attend the hearing.
“We can’t change the past, but we can make [the victim’s] road a little less bumpy,” she said. “All of us as a community that continue to pray for her and think about her. A lot of people wanna be there on Tuesday. These are the things that comfort the family.”
Sawicki said she is working on carpooling for Tuesday’s hearing. Those interested can coordinate with Sawicki by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judge David Navarro, who deemed Carson “a threat to society,” ordered him held without bail after the arrest.
Carson faces three felony charges for aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm.
Carson has five prior felony convictions including two for burglary, two for narcotics with intent to sell and one for possessing a stolen vehicle, police said.
Weber said Carson was out on bond when the West Town attack took place.
In the last year, hundreds of neighbors have stepped up financially to help the woman, who lives overseas and was attacked during a summer abroad in Chicago.
In a GoFundMe fundraiser, West Town neighbors dubbed the victim, “Warrior Woman.” As of Thursday, $26,658 from a collective 575 donors has been raised for the woman and her family.
“This is what gives the family moments of peace from this nightmare, and really, this hell that they’re in,” Sawicki said.
Do stories like this matter to you? Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.