DNA evidence and a cell phone left at the scene of a home invasion and sexual assault in the South Loop in January led to charges against a 19-year-old Rockford man.
set at $2 million for Deontae Latham on charges of aggravated criminal sexual
assault, home invasion and armed robbery with a firearm stemming from the Jan. 9
attack in the 1400 block of South Clark Street.
Prosecutors said Latham approached a 56-year-old woman about 6:50 p.m. as she
was sitting in her vehicle in the driveway of her town home. He tapped on the
passenger side window and asked for directions. After she rolled down the
window, Latham took out a handgun, ordered her to open the door and forced her
to get into the back seat, where he raped her.
victim was forced into her garage, she activated the home’s alarm from her car
key ring, prompting her husband to investigate. But the husband ran back inside on spotting Latham standing in the
garage with a gun. At about the same time, the victim was able to run down the
street and hide behind a dumpster.
Both the woman and her
husband called police.
The victims’ two teenage children were also at
home at the time of the assault but were not harmed.
Latham had fled by the time police arrived, but a cell phone found
inside the woman’s car was linked to a previous home invasion in Rockford. Police later matched Latham to DNA in connection with the sexual assault.
A week after the assault, Latham was arrested on an unrelated
weapons charge, Zahr said. He pleaded guilty in that case and received 18 months
probation. He also has convictions for drug possession, domestic battery and