Chicago man sentenced for forcing 7-year-old girl to perform sexual act during online learning

A sexual assault during remote learning has resulted in an 11-year prison sentence. 

Catrell Walls, 21, was sentenced Wednesday for sexually assaulting his seven-year-old cousin three years ago.

The encounter was caught on video from a West Chesterfield neighborhood home during a break in the girl’s online class.

The microphone was muted on the girl’s computer but the camera was on as a handful of other students were logged in to the Google Meets session.

The teacher was working on a different computer during the pause in class when she heard two other students say, "What is going on? What is happening?" 

When the teacher opened the screen back into her online class, she saw the 7-year-old girl with her pants pulled down and Walls forcing her to perform oral sex, prosecutors said.

The teacher 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.

The girl had been staying at their grandmother’s home during the school day.


When the girl’s father, principal and the school’s chief executive officer went to the home to ask the girl about what happened, she initially said Walls "just hit her."

But when the principal spoke with her away from the family, the girl described a sexual assault and said it had happened before. The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital for examination.

Walls was arrested and the next day, during an interview with detectives, admitted to what the teacher and students had seen on video, as well as other assaults of the girl since she turned 6.

Prosecutors said Walls broke out in tears and told officers, "I don’t know why, I’m sorry, I’m sorry."

Walls was a senior in high school at the time of the attack.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.