Activists Protest Outside Motel Where Girl, 10, Was Sexually Assaulted

Activists turned out Wednesday in front of the Grand Motel in the South Side’s Washington Heights neighborhood, in support of a little girl who was sexually assaulted there last October. CBS 2's Marissa Parra reports.

Video Transcript

IRIKA SARGENT: An update now on a story first exposed by the CBS 2 Investigators. A series of sexual assaults against a 10-year-old girl at a Chicago motel, and how the system failed to protect her. CBS 2's Marissa Parra heard from activists who protested outside the motel today demanding changes. Marissa?

MARISSA PARRA: Irika, Chicago Police say they're looking into why the detective on the case failed to make an arrest even after a DNA match with her rape kit test. Within the last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot called this all a systemic failure. Activists say they want more than words.

- Protect that baby!

- Protect that Black girl!

MARISSA PARRA: They're here for the little girl, who for years suffered abuse in silence, failed by the systems designed to protect her.

ERIC RUSSELL: This was a mausoleum of horror. We are outraged as a community.

MARISSA PARRA: Our CBS 2 Investigators revealed that back in October, it was here at the Grand Motel that a young, Black girl just 10-years-old was sexually assaulted by a man almost five times her age. As our Dave Savini and team unraveled, she was sexually assaulted not once, not twice, but multiple times by at least five separate men across the city, even over state lines.

ERIC RUSSELL: So many people have failed this child.

MARISSA PARRA: Until CBS 2's investigation aired, none of the five men had been charged. In the case of the Grand Motel assault, employees called police, but officers never took her to the hospital for a rape kit or even an evaluation. The Department of Children and Family Services had been monitoring the girl since she was six-years-old. They had over a dozen reports of her being neglected and abused by these men, and yet she wasn't taken into protective custody until she was found at the Grand Motel.

TIO HARDIMAN: The hotel staff did their job by reported the incident, and nobody answered their call.

MARISSA PARRA: And the men in this case? One was finally arrested after CBS 2 Investigators uncovered a rape kit that matched his DNA, even though police had the result for months.

BRENDA MYERS-POWELL: It was amazing that this was so well buried. And without Dave Savini of CBS News, this would have stayed buried.

MARISSA PARRA: Chicago Police say they've launched an internal investigation. They, along with DCFS, have even met with some of the activists here.

BRENDA MYERS-POWELL: We want to see the walk. We don't want to hear to talk. And that's what I want them to do. Do what I pay them for, to get these type of predators off the street.

MARISSA PARRA: The activists you saw there today say they plan to protest each month until every single one of her abusers is arrested and charged. We're live outside of Chicago Police headquarters, Marissa Parra, CBS 2 News.

IRIKA SARGENT: And you heard them speak about Dave Savini. He, the CBS 2 Investigator, has done several reports on this case exposing the missteps. You can watch all of his reports by going to our news app, CBS Chicago, and click on "2 Investigators."