COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A homeless man charged with raping two women in a late 2013 crime spree is now also accused of holding a knife to a 3-year-old girl's neck and jamming his fingers down her throat while robbing her mother, prosecutors said.
In what allegedly was James Whiteside's last attack before his arrest on Dec. 30, he sneaked up on a mother and her 3-year-old daughter on their way to church in Noble Square on Dec. 28, prosecutors said.
The mother was styling the child's hair in their car, which was parked in the 1200 block of North Milwaukee. Her husband and two other daughters already had left the car and were waiting for them in a nearby church, Assistant State's Attorney Naheeda Zayyad said.
Whiteside, 30, appeared with a knife as the two were getting out of the car, put the blade to the child's throat and ordered them back inside, Zayyad said.
He ordered the mother to hand over her keys, but she couldn't because her husband took the keys with him to church, Zayyad said. Whiteside stole the mother's cellphone and cash and started ransacking the car, Zayyad said.
When the husband called the cellphone looking for his wife, Whiteside destroyed it, Zayyad said. He then turned the knife on the mother, "threatening to kill her if she didn't give him the car keys."
"At one point, [the mother] attempted to get out of the car, however [Whiteside] grabbed the victim, bit [her] ear, and grabbed the 3-year-old daughter by the mouth, jamming his fingers down the child's throat," Zayyad said.
The mother tried to help the child, who was choking on blood in her throat, as Whiteside continued to ransack the car, she said.
Eventually, the husband came out, and Whiteside fled, Zayyad said.
The attack outside the church came two days after Whiteside allegedly robbed and assaulted a woman as she was leaving a currency exchange in Rogers Park.
Zayyad said the woman was getting in her car around 10 a.m. when Whiteside approached from behind and brandished a knife.
He demanded her keys, but the woman had dropped them, Zayyad said.
Whiteside ordered her into the car and sexually assaulted her at knife point, Zayyad said. At some point during the attack, a passerby who found the woman's car keys knocked on the window and handed them to Whiteside.
The victim jumped out of the car screaming when Whiteside informed her that they were going to a hotel, Zayyad said.
Whiteside fled in the stolen car, and the victim darted into a currency exchange to report the attack, Zayyad said.
Whiteside, of the 600 block of West Deming Place, was already in jail when prosecutors charged him with the two attacks. He has been in behind bars since Dec. 30 on charges that he sexually assaulted one woman near the Midway "L" stop and another in the Montclare neighborhood.
About 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 27, Whiteside allegedly sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman in the 3100 block of North Harlem Avenue, according to authorities.
About two hours later, Whiteside attacked a 69-year-old woman who was taking the Orange Line home from work and heading to her parked car, according to police.
He forced into her car, sexually assaulted her and took her money, cellphone and her ATM card, she told police.
He is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault by using a weapon; armed robbery; aggravated vehicular hijacking using a weapon; vehicular invasion; attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault using a weapon; and aggravated battery of a child causing great bodily harm.
Whiteside is being held without bail on the charges.