Police said Saturday a man was charged with sexually assaulting two girls in the neighborhood where an 11-year-old girl was murdered in July, a killing for which two young boys were originally charged.
The Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday quoted the man's lawyer, Lee Carson, as saying Floyd Durr appeared to be a suspect in the murder of 11-year-old Ryan Harris.Harris' death on July 27 drew international attention after two boys, aged 7 and 8, allegedly confessed to killing the girl, making them among the youngest murder suspects ever in the United States.
But prosecutors dropped the charges earlier this month, saying semen found on Harris' underwear raised strong doubts they were the killers. The murder occurred in Englewood, a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.
The Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune both quoted police sources on Saturday as saying genetic testing found that Durr's DNA matched semen found on the dead girl's panties.
Durr, jailed for an unrelated sexual assault case, was charged Friday with aggravated criminal sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in January and an 11-year-old in May in Englewood, Chicago police spokes-man Patrick Camden said on Saturday.
"He used a weapon in both situations, in one situation he displayed a handgun and in one he indicated he had a handgun," Camden said.
Camden declined to comment on whether Durr is a suspect in the Harris murder. He appeared in court Friday for the announcement of an indictment on charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old girl in January.
The latest sexual assault charges are separate and the investigation into the Harris murder continues, Camden said.
The Sun-Times said Durr admitted to police he performed a sex act over Harris' dead body after two boys standing near her had left the scene, but that he did not kill her.
Cook County State's Attorney Richard Devine said when the charges were dropped against the boys that prosecutors reserved the possibility murder charges may be reinstated.
The boys told police in early August the younger boy struck the girl in the head with a rock as she rode her bicycle, and then he and the other boy dragged her body and the bicycle into a vacant lot and suffocated her.
Police said the boys may have wanted her bike, which was never found, or had hit the girl while throwing rocks at each other. She died from head trauma and asphyxiation.