Editor’s note: This story contains detailed allegations of sexual assault.
CHICAGO — Prosecutors charged a 28-year-old man with criminal sexual abuse and battery in a series of attacks on women Downtown, including two inside stores.
The same man is already facing charges in three other assaults and has been accused in the past of similar attacks, prosecutors said Thursday.
David Buckner was charged Wednesday with three counts of aggravated battery and two counts of criminal sexual abuse. Prosecutors said he groped three women and masturbated and ejaculated onto another woman in separate attacks in August and October.
A Cook County judge set bail at $75,000 during a court hearing Thursday.
The first of the attacks in Wednesday’s charges occurred Aug. 27, prosecutors said.
A 39-year-old woman was shopping at a TJ Maxx on State Street Downtown when Buckner grabbed the victim’s buttocks from behind her on an escalator, prosecutors said. The victim yelled out for others in front of her to move because Buckner was groping people, prosecutors said.
The woman flagged down officers, who tried to chase Buckner, but he escaped, prosecutors said. The woman identified Buckner in a photo array Sept. 20, prosecutors said.
The next attack occurred Oct. 16 outside a Ross Dress for Less on Randolph Street Downtown.
The victim, a 28-year-old employee, was leaving the store and walking down Randolph Street when Buckner approached her and grabbed her vagina over her clothing, prosecutors said. The woman pushed away and returned to the store, and she reported what happened to her manager, prosecutors said.
The woman told her manager she recognized Buckner from an incident two days earlier where Buckner approached her, asked where the men’s clothing section was and made a crude comment, prosecutors said. The manager called police, prosecutors said.
The woman identified Buckner in a photo array Oct. 18, prosecutors said.
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The third incident happened Oct. 18 at the Sephora on North Michigan Avenue, prosecutors said.
In that instance, a 21-year-old woman was working as a greeter at the front of the door when she saw Buckner try and grab an associate, prosecutors said. When the victim stepped in, Buckner said he was looking for a gift for his wife, Taylor Swift, prosecutors said.
While the victim was calling for a manager through her headset, Buckner grabbed the victim’s buttocks before security escorted him out of the store, prosecutors said. The security guard called police to report the assault, and the woman identified Buckner in a photo array Wednesday, prosecutors said.
The fourth attack occurred Oct. 24 at the Monroe Street Blue Line stop, prosecutors said.
A 30-year-old woman and a co-worker were headed to their hotel from O’Hare airport when Buckner followed the women and began masturbating while watching them leave the platform, prosecutors said. He followed the women up the escalator as they attempted to get away, and he ejaculated on the victim’s leggings, prosecutors said.
The woman went to her hotel and called police, turning over her leggings to investigators, prosecutors said. She and her co-worker identified Buckner in a photo array, prosecutors said.
CTA officials also gave police video of the attack and a bulletin about Buckner, “who was known to CTA for committing similar offenses on CTA property,” prosecutors said.
Buckner has three pending battery charges related to attacks on women in June and October. Prosecutors say he grabbed, licked, squeezed and groped three other women, one of whom was a Loyola University student. He is out on bail in those cases.
In 2017, Buckner told police he “probably” molested about 75 women on the CTA, according to the Tribune. He was charged with felonies for assaulting four women that year, but was acquitted by reason of mental insanity.
Buckner’s next court date is Nov. 22.