By AARON GETTINGER
Two unrelated sex offenses occurred Monday, June 4, at and outside the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools’ Earl Shapiro Hall, 5800 S. Stony Island Ave., according to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD).
At 8:15 a.m., a suspicious person was escorted from Shapiro Hall by Lab Schools staff, though the offender was gone by the time UCPD was notified. A Lab Schools employee said the person had been walking around the hallways and playground. A follow-up investigation resulted in the suspect being identified, located and arrested the next day by UCPD officers.
In a letter Tuesday to the Lab Schools community, Director Charles Abelman confirmed that the offender had been convicted of child sexual abuse in 1997, that “there is no indication that he attempted inappropriate behavior during yesterday’s incident” and that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office was considering whether to press criminal charges. (The UCPD blotter states that the offender has been charged with a felony.) Abelman said the additional security and an administrator would be stationed in the Shapiro Hall lobby during student drop-off and pick-up times, which will continue through Summer Lab, and that UCPD would monitor end-of-year outside activities.
In an unrelated incident that occurred later on Monday, at 2:03 p.m., Taurus Turpin, 48, a different suspect, fondled a victim walking on the sidewalk at 5800 S. Stony Island Ave. He was arrested by a UCPD officer on patrol, after the 22-year-old female victim positively identified him, and turned over to the Chicago Police. Turpin was charged with misdemeanor battery, as the victim was about to leave town. Further charges will be explored at his court date on June 25.
The Herald has requested comment from the U. of C. about these incidents.