Knife-wielding attacker sentenced to 90 years for 2002 rape

April 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a Crest Hill man who was found guilty of raping a young woman in 2002 was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

John R. Pitts Jr., 43, of 1521 Pioneer Road, was found guilty on Feb. 4 of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault. Pitts was sentenced on Monday, April 27 by Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak. 

The victim testified at trial that Pitts attacked her while she was walking to work along Mississippi Avenue around 5:30 a.m. on December 5, 2002. The woman 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. 

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.” 

“John Pitts is a vile miscreant who will absolutely spend the rest of his life in prison where he can never sexually assault another woman,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “This gutless, knife-wielding predator has been taken off our streets permanently, thanks to a first-rate investigation by the Joliet Police Department and the excellent trial work by my two prosecutors.”

Under Illinois law, Pitts must serve 85 percent of his sentence. He is facing criminal charges of attempted kidnapping and criminal sexual assault in cases involving three additional female victims.