A Chicago man was sentenced to 11 years behind bars after he was caught on camera sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl in front of other first-graders during a remote learning class in 2020.
Catrell Walls, 21, pleaded guilty to a felony sexual assault charge for the Oct. 15, 2020, attack which was witnessed by the child’s horrified teacher on a Google Meet session during the pandemic.
The first-grade teacher told the students to mute themselves and turn off their cameras during a short break.
The girl muted herself but didn’t turn off the camera and that’s when the instructor saw Walls force her to perform oral sex.
The teacher quickly yelled for the other first-graders to log off and then saw Walls pick up the laptop and shut it, prosecutors said.
The educator alerted the school’s principal, who called the child’s family, Chicago police and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, according to prosecutors.
School officials and the girl’s father showed up to the South Side home where the crime occurred and the child told them the oral sex assault was not the first time Walls, who is her relative, had forced her to perform the inappropriate and illegal act.
“The victim disclosed, ‘He made me put my lips on [him] and this has happened before, and I don’t want my daddy to know, it’s a secret,’’’ Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Andreana Turano said at a bond hearing for Walls shortly after his arrest.
The girl was treated at a local hospital and Walls, who was an 18-year-old high schooler at the time, was arrested the next day.
He allegedly admitted to the livestreamed attack as well as prior assaults as part of an ongoing pattern of sexual abuse dating back to when the girl was 6 years old, prosecutors previously alleged.
“I don’t know why, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Walls told officers as he broke down in tears during his confession, prosecutors said at the initial bond hearing.
Walls’ attorney bizarrely said at the time that he had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, which impairs his ability to control his impulses.
Walls admitted his guilt to the court as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, who dropped two other related felony charges as well as an unrelated, prior weapons charge, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Authorities have not disclosed how Walls and the victim are related.
With Post wires