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Traveling Artist Rapes Woman, 19, in Back of Van, Prosecutors Say

By Erica Demarest | August 26, 2015 3:28pm | Updated on August 26, 2015 4:27pm
 Samuel North, 29, who goes by Sammy thrashLife, is accused of attacking a woman inside his van in June.
Samuel North, 29, who goes by Sammy thrashLife, is accused of attacking a woman inside his van in June.
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Instagram/sammythrashlife; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A traveling artist raped a 19-year-old Chicago woman inside his van earlier this summer, prosecutors alleged Wednesday.

Samuel North, 29, is a painter and graphic artist who frequently highlights his borderline personality disorder and past heroin addiction in the art he creates as Sammy thrashLife.

North was in Chicago on June 27, where he met the 19-year-old victim outside a music venue, Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Hardman said during a bond hearing Wednesday. Authorities did not specify which venue.

North offered the woman a ride home, prosecutors said, and the pair stopped to get food along the way. They then started to watch a movie in the back of North's van, at which point, he attacked the victim — choking her, forcing her to perform oral sex and eventually raping her, prosecutors said.


#sammythrashlife on #broadway #nyc #art

A photo posted by Sammy thrashLife (@sammythrashlife) on

The victim told North she needed to find a restroom and walked away from the van with her phone, according to Hardman. The woman called a friend and reported the rape before walking back to the van, where she had left her wallet and backpack.

The woman told North she couldn't find a restroom, so he drove her to a nearby gas station, Hardman said. Once inside, the woman spoke with her friend and police on her cell phone, and told them she would have Hardman take her to the nearby Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station, Hardman added.

Police and her friend met the victim at the "L" stop some time after North dropped her off, according to prosecutors.

The woman reported the attack to police before going home and telling her mother what happened, Hardman said. The woman's mother drove her to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where a rape kit was collected. Results are pending.

Prosecutors said the victim suffered redness and marks to her lower abdomen and a contusion to her cervix.

North was arrested about 1:45 p.m. Monday in downstate Bloomington, according to an arrest report. He was charged with criminal sexual assault using force.

In his blog, North has written about his sexual experiences and posted photos of his van, including one that shows a mattress in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheets.


Close-up/detail shot from my current work-in-progress.

A photo posted by Sammy thrashLife (@sammythrashlife) on

Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil on Wednesday ordered North held in lieu of $30,000 bail. If he posts bond, North is not allowed to leave Cook County. According to court testimony, he is a Florida native who is able to stay with friends in Chicago.

North graduated from Georgetown University Law Center, but never took the bar exam, according to his attorney Julie Aimen.

On July 1 of this year, North was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in Florida. He was sentenced to two years probation.

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