By Rosemary Sobol, Jeremy Gorner and Jason Meisner
1:54 PM CDT, March 13, 2012
Two boys, ages 15 and 16, were ordered held on $750,000 bail today as police searched for a third suspect in the brutal beating and sexual assault of a Highland Park woman near the Congress Theater on New Year's Eve, officials say.
Terrance Ford, 15, and Aanwar Barbour, 16, appeared in bond court on charges of kidnapping, robbery and aggravated criminal sexual assault. Ford was wearing Homer Simpson pajamas, Barbour jeans and a black T-shirt. Both are charged as adults.
Barbour was arrested Monday at Oak Park and River Forest High School, where he is a student. Ford was arrested at his home on the Northwest Side of Chicago. The arrests were first reported by the Tribune this morning.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the third suspect, who is believed to be out of state, a police source said.
The Highland Park woman, 18, was sexually assaulted and beaten into a coma after she came to the city to attend a New Year's Eve performance at the Congress Theater by Rusko, an English producer of electronic dance music.
Prosecutors provided these details of the attack:
The woman had planned to attend the show at the Congress Theater but got separated from her friends and went into a restaurant across the street. She had been drinking and fell down in the vestibule and sat against a wall. Ford and Barbour saw that she was drunk and brought her to their table. They were soon joined by six other people.
Eventually they left the restaurant, Ford and Barbour supporting the woman as she walked. Ford had told the others that he planned to rob the woman and have sex with her. After sitting on the curb outside the restaurant, Ford and Barbour lifted the woman to her feet and walked to the corner of Rockwell Street and Milwaukee Avenue and leaned her against a fence.
They began fondling the woman and someone walked up and told them to stop. The woman fell to the ground and struck her head, which started to bleed. The two picked the woman up and took her down a side street, went through her purse, then carried her to a grass parkway in the 2100 block of North Rockwell, where she was assaulted.
"Witnesses near the scene saw several individuals standing in a semi-circle" during the assault, according to a document filed by prosecutors.
Video surveillance captured the suspects leading the woman out the door of a restaurant across the street from the theater, prosecutors said during the hearing. DNA evidence, including blood on Ford's boxer shorts, and witness accounts also linked them to the attack, police said.
Detectives determined that the other people in the group were not culpable in the attack and won't be charged, police said.
Both Barbour and Ford have previous records for minor offenses. Barbour was charged recently with resisting arrest, and Ford has a record of arrests for theft.
A woman at Barbour's home in Oak Park had no comment about the charges. "We're not making any statements right now," she said.
While the victim's family declined interviews, the young woman's father has said that his daughter is recovering nicely and that they are grateful for the community support.
Lisa Black contributed to this report.
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