A Streamwood man whose previous rape conviction resulted in his being put on the state's registered sex offender list for life will now spend the rest of that life behind bars.
Cook County Judge Richard Schwind handed down the life sentence Friday afternoon, along with three consecutive 30-year sentences, to 47-year-old Juan Torres, who was convicted last month of repeatedly sexually assaulting and eventually impregnating a 14-year-old girl. The sentences were imposed with no possibility of parole.
"You're sick," Schwind told Torres during the sentencing hearing. "You're the personification of evil if there ever was one."
The girl's mother testified that Torres had "ruined" her family after he began sexually assaulting the now-17-year-old in July 2014. The assaults ended when the girl discovered she was pregnant in December 2014. The girl gave birth to a stillborn boy 17 weeks into the pregnancy.
The victim's mother broke down in tears talking about how both she and her daughter got to hold the lifeless baby that the girl named "Geovany." The mother also described how her daughter went from being an outgoing teenager to moody and withdrawn, eventually attempting suicide multiple times in the wake of Torres' attacks.
The girl now sees two different therapists and attends a special school that helps her deal with her anxiety issues, the mother said.
"I try not to let her see me cry, because she gets upset when she sees that I'm upset," the mother said in court Friday. "I try to be strong in front of her, but it's hard sometimes. I've always got to remind myself to try and smile for her."
Torres' attorney, Joe Gump, offered letters from Torres' wife, a former police officer who worked with Torres and an elderly neighbor in hopes that Schwind wouldn't throw the book at his client. The judge was not dissuaded.
"You have scarred (the victim) for life," Schwind barked from the bench. "You have shown no remorse for what you've done and you tried to deflect responsibility."
When asked if he had anything to say for himself, Torres simply replied, "Nope."
While sentencing Torres most harshly for his aggravated criminal sexual assault conviction, Schwind added the maximum penalty for three lesser sexual assault convictions as well to run consecutively, instead of the more common concurrent sentencing. "The consecutive sentences are needed to keep you away from law-abiding citizens," Schwind said.
Torres, a longtime gang member and high school dropout who was born in Texas, had six felony convictions prior to this case, including a criminal sexual assault conviction in 2003 in Kane County that landed him in prison for nearly six years. That conviction also required him to register as a sex offender.
Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jaclyn Lantz said this was the first time a defendant she had prosecuted received the harshest sentence possible, but she noted Torres was the most deserving of such a sentence.
"This defendant has earned every single day that he will spend behind bars," she said. "He earned it."