Man Charged With Sex Assault of Girl Seen During Online Learning

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A man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl Thursday in an incident that was witnessed during online learning in West Chesterfield on the South Side.

Catrell Walls, 18, is charged with a felony count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13, Chicago police said.

Walls was seen via an online learning application performing a sexual act with the child about 1:30 p.m. in the 200 block of East 89th Place, police said. Officers responded to the home and took him into custody. The girl was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital.

Police did not say who witnessed the incident or whether the online learning application was associated with a specific school.

Walls, who lives in West Chesterfield, is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing on Saturday, police said.

Remote learning, a valuable tool for children because it allows them to be schooled from home amid a pandemic, also can become a window into the violent homes some kids live in.

Last month, while a Milwaukee Public Schools class was being held via remote learning, a fatal shooting occurred in a 9-year-old student’s home. 

In August in Indiantown, Florida, a teacher at Warfield Elementary watched a 10-year-old cover girl cover her ears as a domestic altercation unfolded in the girl’s home. She muted the girl before the girl’s screen darkened. The girl’s mother was shot repeatedly, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, and later died at a hospital.     

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