Thursday, October 10, 2019
Chicago Man Sentenced to 28 Years for Sexual Assault of Bensenville Woman He Met on Social Media App
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced that Oscar Howell, 28 (d.o.b. 4/20/1991) formerly of Chicago, has been sentenced to twenty-eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for sexually assaulting a Bensenville woman he met through the social media app KIK. On April 9, 2019, Howell entered a plea of guilty to one count of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, a Class X Felony. Judge Brian Telander sentenced Howell late yesterday afternoon.
In April 2014, the victim, a nineteen-year-old female, met the defendant on the social media app KIK. Howell, who was using the screen name “thafamousboytrey” and a fake profile picture on the app, convinced the woman that they knew each other from school. On June 30, 2014, the victim agreed to meet Howell outside her house at approximately 2 a.m. When Howell arrived at the victim’s home, she entered his vehicle and Howell, who kept his face toward the driver’s side window, drove to an alley a few blocks away. Shortly after arriving in the alley, the defendant brandished a knife and ordered the victim into the back seat of the vehicle. The defendant then threatened to stab the victim. Howell then sexually assaulted the victim multiple times. Following the assault, Howell drove the woman back home and threatened her so she would not disclose the assault. The victim reported the attack to the Bensenville Police Department. An investigation by the Bensenville Police Department led authorities to Howell who was taken into custody and appeared in Bond Court on April 28, 2016 where bond was set at $500,000 with 10% to apply. On June 27, 2016, bond was increased to $1 million with 10% to apply. He has remained in custody at the DuPage County Jail since that time. At the sentencing hearing, the State proved that Howell had committed a prior sexual assault that occurred in LaGrange Park in June 2014, with nearly identical circumstances against a woman he had met on the social media app KIK under the same screen name of “thafamousboytrey.”
“Social media apps can be friendly, good-natured and even helpful when used responsibly,” Berlin said. “These same apps however, can be used by sexual predators like Oscar Howell as a hunting ground for their next victim. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself before you agree to meet with someone in person that you have only communicated with online including video chat with the person before meeting for the first time, meet in a public place, tell someone where you are going and don’t rely on the person you are meeting for transportation. I would like to commend the men and women of the Bensenville Police Department, particularly Deputy Chief Dooley and LaGrange Park Police Department Chief Contois and Sargent Griffin for their outstanding work in this case. It is because of their efforts Mr. Howell is looking at a well-deserved sentence of twenty-eight years. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Cathy DeLaMar, Jennifer Lindt and Bethany Jackson for their work in holding Mr. Howell responsible for his actions.”
Howell must serve 85% of his sentence before being eligible for parole. Once released he will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.