A Belleville 16-year-old was charged Monday as an adult with three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, one count vehicular hijacking and one count aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle in connection with an attack on a stranger inside her garage.
Leondre McClendon and another suspect were on electronic monitoring for an undisclosed juvenile crimes at the time of the sexual assault and carjacking, according to a search warrant application filed in St. Clair County Court on May 26.
The charges stem from a May 5 attack on the victim, who was a woman in her 20s. The woman pulled into her garage on Parkridge Drive about 10 p.m. She was confronted by three suspects who came into her garage. One of the suspects had a gun, police said. The suspects demanded the keys to her 2015 Mini Cooper, her day planner and her cell phone. Two of the suspects fled in the car. The third suspect stayed with the victim, according to a search warrant filed in St. Clair County Court on May 26.
The suspect held a gun to her head as he raped her then forced her to perform oral sex on him before running away, according to the search warrant complaint sworn to be Detective Michael Pearce. The victim sought help from a neighbor after the suspect fled.
Police have said the victim did not know her attackers, but Pearce stated in the search warrant application that semen was recovered. Pearce sought the search warrant in order to collect a DNA specimen from McClendon.
The Illinois State Police Metro East Crime Lab played a critical role in evidence processing that led to obtaining the charges on Monday, Belleville Police Sgt. Mark Heffernan said.
A few hours after the assault, the victim’s car was spotted around 80th Street in East St. Louis without headlights. A chase that exceeded speeds of 100 mph ended in the McClendon’s driveway on Ben Louis Drive in Belleville, the search warrant stated. Two men bailed out of the car, which struck a Dumpster, then crashed into a concrete ravine, the application stated.
Two other juveniles were charged in connection with the case. It was not immediately clear if they would also be certified to stand trial as adults.
“During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Leondre McClendon was under court-ordered electronic monitoring,” the search warrant application stated. “It was discovered that on May 5, 2016, Leondre McClendon’s electronic monitor is detected at 5705 North Belt West at approximately 2:24 p.m. and disappears at 3:37 p.m. Leondre McClendon’s electronic monitor is not detected again until 9:54 p.m (approximately four minutes after the victim reports the crime to Belleville Police) at 5705 North Belt West ... This residence is less than one mile from the victim’s residence.”
The search warrant also mentions another suspect who was on electronic monitoring who is also charged with the crime, but that defendant remains charged as a juvenile. The BND does not identify juvenile defendants.
Heffernan could not comment on McClendon’s juvenile record, but did state that he was “known to the department.”
McClendon will remain in St. Clair County Juvenile Detention Center in lieu of $250,000 bail.