The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Girl X Needs New Home

By Samantha Abernethy in News on May 4, 2009 5:40PM

Photo by ragstamp
Shatoya Currie is looking for a new home, just like many other former residents of the Cabrini-Green housing project. However, Currie is confined to a wheelchair and unable to see or speak because of a 1997 attack that took place in the housing project. Currie was referred to as "Girl X" during the trial, since she was just nine years old at the time of the attack. Patrick Sykes was sentenced to 120 years in prison for the attack. A Time magazine article in 1997 contrasted public reaction to this case to that of the Jon-Benet Ramsey case. She is 22 years old now and is no longer eligible to stay at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education, so she must find a new home.

Currie was assaulted physically and sexually, strangled, and poisoned with roach poison that Sykes sprayed down her throat. Sykes drew a gang sign on her body and left her in the stairwell of Cabrini-Green. In 2002, Currie was awarded $3 million in a lawsuit alleging that the CHA and its guard services failed to protect her and had allowed security to deteriorate so far that Sykes was able to get the roach poison from a vacant apartment.

Anita Alvarez, Cook County State's Attorney and the prosecutor during the "Girl X" trial, is also part of a board working on her housing situation. Alvarez said, "She wants to be independent, so we are trying to determine how to make that happen, considering her handicaps. In addition to a house, she'll need live-in help, and everything would have to be handicapped-accessible. Private companies do this kind of thing, so we are hoping to make this happen for her. Consider what she has been through." [Sun-Times]