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'Log off! Log off!' teacher orders students when sexual assault livestreamed during first grader's remote learning class

By Deanese Williams-Harris and Rosemary Sobol, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO - An 18-year-old man out on bond for a gun case was held without bail after he livestreamed himself during a sexual act with a 7-year-old first grader on break from her Chicago Public Schools remote learning class on Thursday prosecutors said.

Catrell A. Walls, of the West Chesterfield neighborhood on the South Side, was arrested Thursday afternoon shortly after 3:30 p.m., after he was seen molesting the girl, police said.

Walls, charged with predatory criminal sexual assault of a victim under 13 years old, appeared for a bond hearing Saturday afternoon before Judge Charles Beach.

Police were made aware of the attack when the girl's teacher saw it on a computer screen during a Google classroom e-learning session.

Walls showed complete disregard of children and a "wanton callousness for human life," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Andreana Turano told Beach.

In addition to Thursday afternoon's incident, which alarmed multiple students who viewed it and were heard asking, "What's going on, what's happening?" the victim told authorities Walls has a history of sexually assaulting her, for the last year, Turano said.

 

The victim initially said Walls "just hit her" and said it was a "secret," Turano told Beach.

"The victim disclosed 'he made me put my lips on (him) and this has happened before, and I don't want my daddy to know, it's a secret,"' Turano said, quoting the victim.

This was broadcast in the daytime on a website accessible to many young students, while the girl was on a break from the class during a time when her teacher asked the students to turn off their cameras and mute themselves.

The 7-year-old muted herself but did not turn off the camera. When the teacher saw them performing oral sex, she repeatedly ordered all the students to log off and then called out the victim's name and told her to turn off the camera.

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