Crest Hill man found guilty of 2002 rape; faces up to 120 years in prison at sentencing

February 5

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Crest Hill man has been found guilty of raping a young woman in 2002. 

John R. Pitts Jr., 43, of 1521 Pioneer Road, was found guilty Wednesday (Feb. 4) of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. He faces between 48 and 120 years in prison when he is sentenced by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on April 15. He cannot receive probation.

The young woman testified that Pitts attacked her while she was walking to work along Mississippi Avenue around 5:30 am on December 5, 2002. The victim said Pitts put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she moved. He then forced her into the back seat of his car and drove to Patterson Road where he sexually assaulted her. 

The victim was treated at Silver Cross Hospital. DNA samples collected from the victim when she was treated at the hospital matched Pitts’ DNA profile and conclusively linked him to the attack.

During the trial, Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Fitzgerald and Tricia McKenna also presented a videotaped statement Pitts made to Joliet Police in 2006 in which he admitted to attacking the young woman “out of impulse.” 

“This was a vicious and cowardly attack by a knife-wielding predator on an unarmed woman,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “Thanks to a top-notch investigation by the Joliet Police Department and excellent trial work by my two prosecutors, John Pitts will spend most if not all of his life in prison where he can’t harm another woman.”