Chicago attorney Tim Cavanagh of Cavanagh Law Group filed a federal court lawsuit today alleging a 13-year-old Chicago girl was sexually assaulted and her mother physically assaulted because the Cook County Adult Probation Department allowed a dangerous sex offender to remain free on the streets even though he repeatedly violated the terms of his parole. The case is entitled _____ v. Reyes, Court No. 11 CV 560 (name redacted because of minor) and is pending before the Honorable Virginia Kendall in the U.S. District Court.
Convicted sex offender Acurie Collier, who is also a named defendant, is charged with sexually assaulting the girl in her south side home on July 31, 2010. Collier, age 34, was on probation at the time for sex crimes against another young girl. Collier missed curfew checks more than 40 times, but his probation officer never ordered him back to jail. Jesus Reyes, acting director of the department, says, “we dropped the ball”.
The complaint accuses Reyes of failure to properly train or discipline his probation officers and of failure to properly monitor Collier, thus violating the victim’s constitutional right to safety.
According to an investigative report by the Illinois Policy Institute, the number of missed checks was 41. The Adult Probation Department says it was 17 but officers told the Institute the department’s senior staff “sanitized” Collier’s file, removing a number of the most egregious incidents, so the department wouldn’t look so bad if word got out. The officer assigned to monitor Collier remains employed, receiving an annual salary of more than $72,000.00.
Chicago police say Collier, posing as a boy, met the 13-year-old girl online, talked her into providing her address, drove to her home and threw rocks at her window until he gained her attention. She cracked the window and tried to convince him to leave, but according to the police report, he forced him way into her bedroom and sexually assaulted her. When the child’s mother heard screaming, she called 911 and rushed to the bedroom. Collier struck her in the face and tried to flee out the window, but was caught at the scene by police.