Two-year sexual assault case closed

Grace Johnson

The Evanston man responsible for sexually assaulting a Northwestern student in 2007 was sentenced to 30 years in prison last week, more than two years after the incident took place.

Darryl Preston, 26, pled guilty to two felony counts of sexual assault, according to the Cook County Circuit Court. Preston was linked by DNA evidence to the attack on May 8, 2007, prosecutors said.

Preston approached the victim, who was 22 at the time, from behind at about 11:25 p.m. He forced her into her apartment on the 1200 block of Simpson Street where he then sexually assaulted her in her bedroom, after threatening to kill her if she screamed, police said.

The victim could not see Preston’s face during the attack because of the way he positioned himself. After the attack, Preston stole the victim’s cell phone and tied her hands behind her back, police said.

After managing to call the police, the victim was transported to Evanston Hospital.

Preston must serve at least 80 percent of his sentence because he was convicted as a Class X felon, the Court said. His 822 days spent in jail since his arrest will be counted toward his sentence.

Police arrested Preston in July of 2007 at his home in Evanston after detectives found a pawn shop listing leading to him, according to an Evanston Police press release.

The original court date was scheduled for November of 2007, but was delayed several times as both parties needed to meet in court for ‘status dates,’ during which the prosecution and defense updated each other on the statuses of their cases.

At one time, Preston was represented by an NU alumna, Hilary James, Weinberg ‘73.

However, in May of 2009 Preston told a judge in the Skokie Circuit Court he wished to represent himself. Judge Garrett E. Howard granted Preston’s request and removed the attorney who represented him at the time.

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