South Side serial rapist sentenced to 70 years in prison

- A South Side man who committed a string of sexual assaults, including three attacks in five days in 2013, has been sentenced to 70 years in prison.

Kerwinn Cross, 31, was convicted of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated criminal sexual assault, attempted criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Cross was driving his vehicle with a male friend in the early morning hours of June 25, 2013, when he approached a 15-year-old girl, prosecutors said.

After she got into the vehicle, Cross drove around for awhile, then drove to his home, where he demanded the girl engage in a sex act, prosecutors said.

After she refused, Cross choked her, forcefully took off her clothes and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint, prosecutors said. He then forced the naked teenager out of the house, into his car and drove her to the 9400 block of South Eggleston, where he stopped and threw her out of the car.

After being assisted by a citizen, the girl was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital and a sexual assault kit was collected, prosecutors said. DNA recovered from the victim matched Cross, and she identified him as her attacker in a lineup.

Cross, of the 9300 block of South Normal, was sentenced to 70 years in prison during a hearing late Wednesday for the charges in that attack, according to the state’s attorney’s office. However, he still faces charges in two other attacks that occurred within five days in 2013.

On June 23, 2013, Cross and Courtney Richardson approached a 16-year-old girl as she was walking home from a party and offered her a ride, posing as brother and sister, according to prosecutors. They then took her to Cross’ home where they both violently sexually assaulted her multiple times.

Three days earlier, Cross and Richardson approached a 25-year-old woman walking near 63rd and Racine and offered her a ride home, prosecutors said. After driving her around the South Side, Richardson got out of the vehicle and Cross drove to his home, where he choked and slapped the victim, forcefully removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her multiple times. The woman managed to escape and ran to a nearby home.

Richardson pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges and is currently serving a 58-month sentence, prosecutors said.

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