18-year-old caught sexually assaulting 7-year-old during virtual learning

CHICAGO — An 18-year-old Chicago man has been arrested and charged with predatory criminal sexual assault for his involvement in a situation with a minor.

Catrell Walls was taken into custody Thursday after an educator said she saw him force a 7-year-old girl to perform a sexual act while her computer screen was tuned in for remote learning.

When responding officers arrived on the scene, the girl identified her attacker, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The girl, whose relationship to Walls has not been disclosed, was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson recently spoke out about some of the negative impacts of remote learning.

“We provide a lot of basic needs for our students, and safety is one of them,” she said during a Friday news conference. “There are fewer watchful eyes looking at students, connecting with students to make sure that they’re safe.”

Jackson also shared on Twitter that she believes “online learning isn’t working for many ... students, especially our youngest and most vulnerable learners.”

“Access to safe, in-person instruction is an issue of equity we have a responsibility to address,” she wrote.

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