04/05/2001

Chicago man convicted of attack on 'Girl X' faces century behind bars

April 5, 2001 (CHICAGO) - A man who claimed police coerced him into confessing during an attack of epilepsy has been convicted of a brutal rape that left a young girl unable to speak.

Ronald Sykes, 29, faces a possible sentence of more than a century in prison. Jurors deliberated for 18 hours before finding him guilty Wednesday.

The jury had to balance Sykes' story against the testimony of the victim, who used a special device allowing her to indicate "yes" and "know" and to spell out words. Girl X, who was 9 when she was assaulted in 1997, identified Sykes as the rapist.

Investigators say that Sykes not only admitted the rape but led them to a container of roach spray he used to poison the victim so that she would not be able to talk.

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