CHICAGO — After seeing Alexandria Clarke publicly speak out about her rape Sunday, Matthew Brennock decided to do what he could to help.
The Logan Square resident said he was watching news last week and was deeply moved by Clarke's bravery in confronting her trauma head-on. He decided to donate $5,000 on the spot.
"I don't really have a reason," he said Thursday. "I just wanted to get her a check."
"The fact that it was a young girl exposing herself like that after the pain and humiliation — having the courage to do that really affected me. I was really moved by it."
Brennock's donation is independent of any organization and doubles the reward for information leading to the arrest of Clarke's attacker to $10,000.
Clarke, a Loyola University graduate, reported she was forced by the neck from a bus stop bench and sexually assaulted in a nearby alley May 2 in the 6300 block of North Clark Street in Edgewater.
Clarke and her mother, Renee Touchton, said they went public because they wanted to call direct attention to the crime and its perpetrator, a man still on the loose. DNAinfo.com Chicago generally does not name victims of sexual assault.
It's the rapist who should feel ashamed, Clarke said during a press conference Sunday, "A crime is a crime."
Brennock and Touchton talked for the first time Wednesday afternoon to confirm the donation details.
"It's amazing on her part to do what she's done, especially since this guy is still out there," he said, noting that Clarke's mother, is quite "remarkable in her own right" for her recent anti-rape advocacy work.
Brennock, who has four sisters and two children of his own, lamented the ease with which the public, himself included, can become numb to violence in the city.
"A sexual assault ... in broad daylight?" he said. "When I heard that [Clarke] came forward, it stopped me in my tracks."
"It's not much, but it's what I wanted to do to help her."
Further donations can be sent to Fighting For Alex c/o Centrue Bank, 680 S. Main St., Bourbonnais, IL 60914.