12 years prison for man who recorded 2014 Elgin gang rape

  • Eric N. Cruz

    Eric N. Cruz

 
 
Updated 10/3/2018 4:59 PM
An earlier headline on this report mistakenly said the sentence was 16 years.

A 27-year-old Elgin gang member was sentenced to 12 years in prison Wednesday and must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life for videotaping the gang rape of a nearly unconscious woman in 2014.

Eric N. Cruz and two others were charged in early 2015 with several counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and other felonies stemming from the Dec. 9, 2014, attack in which a drugged woman was recorded being raped.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The video, Elgin police said, shows the woman lying on the floor, incoherent. She told authorities that she knew the three men, had had four alcoholic drinks, noted one of the men prompted her to drink faster and she had left her drink alone at times.

The woman told policed she woke up the next morning with her clothes undone, had a bruised back and didn't remember having intercourse. She said she didn't agree to having sex or being recorded.

She sought treatment at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin for her injuries.

Jose L. Vazquez Jr., 22, of Elgin and Daniel Hernandez-Gutierrez, 24, of South Elgin pleaded guilty in June and were each sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Cruz also pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and left his sentence for later. Wednesday, Judge Linda Abrahamson approved the plea agreement.

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During the attacks, the men made gang signs and referenced their gang while Cruz recorded the assault and narrated, prosecutors said.

At one point on the video, prosecutors said in June, Cruz bragged: "Show what's up with the (gang name). Right here, we're (gang branch, gang branch.)"

"These three defendants committed degrading acts and even video-recorded their crimes. They belong in prison. Their guilty pleas relieve the victim of having to see her attackers again and talk publicly about how she was raped while she was nearly unconscious," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in June.

Under state law, Cruz must serve 85 percent of the 12-year term, or a little more than 10 years. He gets credit for more than 3½ years served at the Kane County jail since his arrest.

In addition to having to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, he will be on mandatory supervised release, or parole, for three years to up to the rest of his life.

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