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Suspect detained after alleged sexual assault of student: prosecutors

A man who allegedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old Lane Tech High School student at a Wendy’s restaurant near the school was detained by school staff and security until police got there on Thursday afternoon, prosecutors said.

Emmanuel Ortega-Garcia, 32, appeared Saturday before Cook County Judge Maryam Ahmad after being charged with criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Cook County court records show. Bond information was not immediately available.

Thursday about 3 pm, Ortega-Garcia and the victim, a 16-year-old girl trying to get to school, were on the same northbound CTA bus. That was when he began trying to talk to her and asked her about her interests, prosecutors said.

After allegedly touching her leg inappropriately, she exited the bus at the Addison stop. Suddenly, Ortega-Garcia was walking behind her, asking her if he could “tag along,” prosecutors said.

She didn’t answer and he followed her to a nearby gas station, walking “closely behind” her, which was captured on video surveillance.

The girl decided to go to Wendy’s because she knew two staffers and would be able to ask them for help. Once there, she learned her friends were not working so she sat down in a booth and he slid into the same booth and sat directly across from her, prosecutors said.

Alarmed, the quick-thinking student shot a video of his face and alerted a friend at Lane who contacted the assistant principal and security who hustled to Wendy’s, where Ortega-Garcia had moved closed to her and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

He stood up when school security and the assistant principal burst into the restaurant and they “detained” him until police got there and arrested Ortega-Garcia, prosecutors said.

Chicago Public Schools representatives and Lane Tech staffers did not immediately comment.

Ortega-Garcia is due back in court on Oct. 14

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