A student at St. Laurence High School was sexually assaulted on her way to school on Sept. 9, and the incident instilled fear in parents and students alike.
Marquise Myles, 22, of Chicago, was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated robbery and kidnapping.
The Burbank Police Department said he rode on the same public transportation bus as the student, and after both exited, he approached her from behind and threatened her with a gun.
He pulled her into a nearby alley on the 7800 block of South Central Avenue, police said, and assaulted her behind a garage. No weapon was displayed. Police said he didn’t know the victim.
Myles, who was arrested the day after the incident, is a convicted felon. He was released on parole in August 2018 after being sentenced for being a felon possessing a firearm. He has also been jailed for reckless discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He appeared in court on Sept. 13 and was denied bond.
The student was doing nothing wrong or unsafe when she was attacked. The incident took place off campus, and St. Laurence officials said they were working with Burbank police to take precautionary measures before and after school.
The incident occurred at about 7:30 a.m.—not at night. It is frightening that it could occur then, and people should be aware of their surroundings at all times.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration advises pedestrians to be alert at all times and not distracted by electronic devices. That helps people stay aware of traffic, and it’s also a good approach for staying aware of people in the vicinity.
Police released images of a suspect immediately after the crime was reported, a reminder that home-surveillance systems can be beneficial not only in protecting homeowners but innocent pedestrians as well.
The victim is recovering and cooperating with investigators, and hopefully, she will regain her health.
Once again, people are wondering why a convicted felon was on the streets, and they will hope that, if he is convicted for this crime, he spends decades in prison.
Students have an ever-growing list of safety concerns for when they are in school. They also must worry about their safety while walking to school.