Man pleads guilty to sexually assaulting 11-year-old at Lansing party
Sun-Times Media August 23, 2012 8:54PM
Daniel Rucker / photo from Cook County Sheriff's office
MARKHAM -- One of two men charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl attending a classmate’s sleep-over birthday party pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Daniel Rucker, 21, of Calumet City, pleaded guilty to one count of predatory criminal sexual assault, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Lisa Gordon. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Co-defendant Steven Johnson, 20, of Lansing, is also charged with predatory criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony, and will next appear in court Sept. 17 in Markham, Gordon said.
Rucker and Johnson were charged with sexually assaulting the girl while she was attending a sleep-over party for a classmate’s 12th birthday on Feb. 26, 2011, according to Lansing police. The party was held at Johnson’s residence in the 17800 block of Chicago Avenue in Lansing, and the attack occurred while other children and adult family members were in the home.
The party continued late into the evening as the girls played games and danced, police said. The men allegedly attacked the girl in the basement after another adult sent her downstairs to get blankets as the children prepared for bed.
“As a parent you would never think something like this would take place at a 12-year-old’s birthday party,” Lansing police Det. Sgt. Scott Bailey said in a statement at the time. “What happened to this young girl is horrific.”
Johnson was arrested the following Monday night after police executed a search warrant and collected evidence in his basement, while Rucker was arrested the next day.