Man charged in postal worker attack had issues with sex offender registration

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man has been arrested and charged with trying to sexually assault a U.S. Postal worker in Little Village over the weekend.

Cesar Ramirez, 44, is charged with two counts of attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault, and one count each of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated battery of a government employee, unlawful restraint, vehicular hijacking, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. He appeared in bond court on Wednesday afternoon and was ordered held without bail.

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said Ramirez has eight previous arrests, and two prior convictions, including a 2001 home invasion and attempted criminal sexual assault. Ramirez is also a convicted sex offender – which means he is required to register his address with police.

But CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey found some pretty serious issues with that registration.

Ramirez was required to register as a sex offender because he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old. But he has given conflicting addresses – and it doesn’t appear he lives at either of them.

According to recent court records and CPD records, Ramirez lives on West 50th Street off Campbell Avenue in Gage Park. But there is a bit of a problem there.

“I’ve never seen him before,” said Norberto Juarez, who has lived on the block for 16 years.

Neighbors on the block say it is impossible that Ramirez lives there. And according to Illinois State Police, he lives a mile and a half away at an address on South Damen Avenue off Garfield Boulevard.

State Police said he registered the address at 5522 S. Damen Ave. with them as recently as Oct. 7.

But that can’t be right either. Standing outside the house at 5522 S. Damen Ave., Stephanie Love-Patterson, Connections for Abused Women and their Children explained why.

“This place is boarded up,” Love-Patterson said. “It couldn’t be an actual residence.”

Love-Patterson said convicted sex offenders somehow getting away with making up addresses.

“‘I live at 123 Main Street and that been working for a while’ – then they absolutely will tend to think that that’s working – that it is working for them – and they keep using that same address,” she said.

And unfortunately, in this case, prosecutors say Ramirez – who has a long criminal history and has served over ten years in prison – went on to reoffend.

Deenihan said a postal worker was getting gas at a gas station in the 2800 block of South Pulaski Road around 9:15 a.m. this past Saturday, when she was assaulted while in her USPS truck. 

The victim was trying to get into the truck when Ramirez, who was already inside, attempted to assault her, according to Deenihan.

Police have said Ramirez pulled her by the hair, and directed her to drive to a nearby parking lot or he would kill her, according to prosecutors. Police say he then told her to move to the back of the van and removed her clothing. As she was attempting to escape through the rear of the van, he tried to beat her and removed a portion of her clothing, police said. 

The 28-year-old letter carrier fled the truck, and her assailant fled in her USPS vehicle. The victim was taken to Saint Anthony Hospital for abrasions on her neck and released shortly later. 

Love-Patterson said this attack could have been prevented.

Hickey: “Do you think the registry is doing what it’s supposed to be doing?”

Love-Patterson: “In this case, no, it didn’t. In this case, it let down with this particular person – it let her down. Someone that could have been monitored closely, unfortunately, was still out there and was just waiting for the right person to attack.”

We’re still trying to get an explanation for the conflicting addresses, and for how Ramirez was apparently able to register a boarded-up building as his address.

The Chicago Rape Crisis Hotline can be reached at 1-888-293-2080. The hotline is run by the organization Resilience.