Man gets 25-year sentence for sexual assault in Belleville alley

News-DemocratFebruary 14, 2014 

A 20-year-old Washington Park man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a aggravated criminal sexual assault in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Zina Cruse imposed the sentence on Delcheva Harris on Monday.

Harris pleaded guilty in December.

Harris was one of three defendants charged in the assault, which happened in an alley in the 300 block of North Sixth Street in Belleville in November 2010.

Artarius Whales, 21, and Harris were charged with sexually assaulting a woman while a third defendant, Rachael Howard, of Belleville, held the victim down and kicked her in the head and body.

A fourth man, Joshua Harris, of East St. Louis, was charged with aggravated battery in connection with the sexual assault of the woman.

The four attacked a man and a woman, both in their 30s at the time of the assault, as they were walking home from a barbecue. The man was walking the woman home for her safety, police said. The group attacked the pair, hitting the woman in the face and knocking her to the ground. The man was beaten after he was struck in the head.

The victim was then forced to a secluded place where she was sexually assaulted.

"The victim is extremely pleased with this very strong sentence from the court," said St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly.

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