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updated: 11/15/2017 7:34 PM

Schaumburg woman testifies man beat, assaulted her with child in the house

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  • Demetrius Singleton

    Demetrius Singleton

 
 

The woman testified she tried to fight back when she says the man she had been in a relationship with beat, strangled and sexually assaulted her in their Schaumburg home.

But something he said made her stop fighting.

"He said he would kill me if I moved, so I didn't move," said the 46-year-old woman, who testified Demetrius Singleton attacked her on Aug. 29, 2014, after an argument during which he complained she put other people ahead of him.

"I didn't have the strength to fight," said the woman, who testified during Singleton's bench trial on charges of aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated battery.

Members of the woman's family brushed away tears and gasped as she described the attack, during which she claimed she cried and pleaded for Singleton to stop as he kicked her torso and punched her repeatedly in the face, causing her eyes to swell so badly she couldn't see.

She testified Singleton, 43, wrapped an extension cord around her neck until she lost consciousness.

"I was gasping for air, trying to breathe," she said of the attack. She testified Singleton grabbed her by the hair and threw her into a closet where he sexually assaulted her and then grabbed her by her shirt and threw her onto the bed where he sexually assaulted her again. At one point, she said, he kissed her and told her he loved her.

Hospitalized for a week following the attack, she was unable to stand and used a wheelchair and walker for a time after her release, prosecutors said.

Twice during the course of the attack, which occurred in a bedroom, a distraught child knocked on the locked door, the woman said. Each time, Singleton sent the child away and resumed the attack, the woman said.

After the attack, the woman remained motionless while she says Singleton threw his belongings into a bag, took her cellphone, keys and debit card from her purse, and left the house.

"I didn't want him to finish me," she said. After a long pause, she continued.

"I think he would have tried to kill me," she testified.

She said she ran from the house, scaled a fence and ran to the neighbor's next door, where she called her bank to cancel the debit card and then called 911.

She and the neighbor returned to her house for the child.

Singleton was arrested on a warrant last year in Champaign.

His defense attorney acknowledged an argument and fight occurred that day, but said that is not sufficient to "make the leap" that Singleton committed a crime.

"This case is as much about what you will hear as about what you will not hear," said Denise Nalley in her opening statement, during which she told Cook County Judge Joel Greenblatt the woman's injuries were not consistent with sexual assault.

Nalley also said there was no evidence of ligature marks that might have come from strangling and no damage to the woman's throat or larynx.

Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jaclyn Lantz described the attack as "every woman's worst nightmare" made worse because it came at the hands of someone the accuser loved and trusted.

"Nothing about this was consensual," said Lantz, "this was about survival."

Testimony continues Thursday.

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