The victim’s laptop microphone was muted but the camera was on.
An 18-year-old Chicago man was caught sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl during a remote learning session that was livestreamed to her first-grade class.
Catrell Walls has been charged with predatory criminal sexual assault over the incident that occurred Thursday at relative’s home on the city’s south side.
Police say the child was attending a virtual Google Meets session when that assault unfolded, New York Post reports. The girl’s laptop microphone was muted but the camera was on. Her teacher was working on another computer when she heard students say: “What’s going on? What’s happening?,” according to prosecutors.
When the teacher looked at the computer with Google Meets running, she saw the victim performing a sex act on Walls. The teacher told the other students to “Log off, log off,” before she saw Walls pick up the victim’s laptop and close it, prosecutors said.
The teacher reported the incident to the school’s principal, who notified the child’s family, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and the police.
The girl initially denied the assault, telling investigators that Walls “just hit her.” She ultimately admitting to being sexually abused by him for over a year.
“The victim disclosed, ‘He made me put my lips on (him) and this has happened before, and I don’t want my daddy to know, it’s a secret,’’’ Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Andreana Turano told the court.
Walls was arrested a day after the assault and admitted to the history of abuse.
“I don’t know why, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Walls tearfully told officers. It’s unclear how he and the victim are related.
Walls was already facing a felony gun charge on an unrelated incident. He is being held without bail, the report said.
“This ongoing history of assault, for approximately a year, according to the victim, leads me to believe this is not something that will just stop because I have ordered it to,” said Judge Charles Beach in denying his bail. This history and his actions from this case lead me to believe that he is a threat to an individual and the community as a whole.”
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