A former Glenbard West High School football player accused of raping a 15-year-old girl hours before he and a fellow football player were in a fatal car accident was convicted of four counts of felony criminal sexual assault Thursday afternoon.
Demarco Whitley, 19, testified before Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta that he had sex with the girl in the parking lot of a Rolling Meadows church on Jan. 29, 2010, but argued that the girl had previously consented, Glen Ellyn Patch reports. Whitley's former teammate, Pierre Washington-Steel, was also implicated in the assault, which allegedly took place in Washington-Steel's car.
Barely an hour later, Washington-Steel's sedan crashed into a utility pole, and the 17-year-old player died from his injuries several days later, according to Glen Ellyn Patch. Whitley was severely injured in the accident. Both players were popular in the community, where their team had had a winning season.
The defense argued that the victim lied about not consenting because she was embarrassed about having sex with both boys, then 17, at the same time, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. But Judge Fecarotta said Whitley's story that he had never met the girl before, but she agreed to have sex with him and Washington-Steel without giving her name or asking theirs, raised red flags.
“According to the defendant, he is the luckiest guy in the world,” Assistant State’s Attorney Maria McCarthy said in court Thursday, according to the Sun-Times.
Whitley confessed he had lied to Rolling Meadows police when he told them he couldn't remember anything about the sexual encounter because of his crash injuries, the Sun-Times reports. McCarthy also argued that the girl stood to gain nothing for accusing the recently deceased and seriously injured football stars of sexual assault, who had received overwhelming support from the community after the accident.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the sex occurred, and there is no doubt in my mind that it occurred the way the victim described it,” Fecarotta said, according to TribLocal, before delivering a four-count felony verdict and revoking Whitley's bond.
Whitley was taken immediately into custody. Each charge carries a minimum four-year sentence that must be served consecutively, authorities told TribLocal.