Former Little City resident gets 18 years for sexual assault
A former Little City resident who pleaded guilty last month to sexually assaulting a female employee of the Palatine facility was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday as part of a negotiated plea.
Eddie Blue, 20, wore handcuffs during the brief hearing before Cook County Judge Bridget Hughes.
Blue, then 15, was charged as an adult with aggravated criminal sexual assault in the September 2011 attack at the facility that serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prosecutors said Blue choked and threatened the woman, forced her into a restroom and demanded she remove her clothes.
Blue received credit for a little more than four years in custody. He must complete at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
Since his arrest, court psychiatrists have twice evaluated him for fitness to stand trial. Two different judges agreed he was fit.
Assistant Public Defender Joseph Gump believes his client has serious problems.
"Born with drugs and alcohol in his system, he was shuffled from foster home to foster home for 10 years until he became a ward of the state," said Gump, who described Blue as "a throwaway child from the age of 5."
Reports indicate Blue suffered sexual and physical abuse, including being struck in the head with a bat, Gump said.
"Little City took him in and weren't able to prevent him from harming himself or others," said Gump, who claims Blue was admitted 10 times to psychiatric hospitals but was not treated or medicated properly for his anger and poor impulse control.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the sentencing.
In a statement, Little City indicated it has changed admissions policies since the attack and continues to improve employee training.
"We have looked at the 2011 incident, as we do all instances, as an opportunity to improve while still affording people the opportunity to keep, learn, or improve skills ... in the least restrictive environment," said Executive Director Shawn Jeffers in a prepared statement.
Eddie Blue never had a chance, Gump said.
"Society did not provide Eddie with an opportunity to succeed," he said.