Man charged with sexually assaulting Niles salon employee
Updated: February 11, 2013 1:57AM
NILES — A convicted sex offender is accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman inside the Niles tanning salon where she worked.
Firas Ayoubi, 27, of the 5500 block of Normandy in Chicago, has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, attempted aggravated robbery, kidnapping and unlawful restraint, all felonies, in connection with the alleged incident which occurred on the morning of Dec. 4 at Palm Beach Tan, 5653 Touhy Ave., in the Village Crossing shopping center.
Niles Police said a man, later identified as Ayoubi, entered the tanning salon shortly after the female employee opened the business for the day. The man, who was reportedly wearing a mask that partially covered the lower half of his face, approached the woman in the back of the business and forcibly dragged her to the rear of a storeroom where he sexually assaulted her, police said.
The man then allegedly dragged the woman by her hair and arm toward the front of the business, demanding to know where the cash drawer was located. Police said a 60-year-old customer then entered the business and when the woman asked him for help, the customer ordered the man to let her go.
The witness, fearing the man may have had a weapon, left the store and the woman followed him while he called 911, police said.
Niles Police said the offender fled the area in a black SUV and was followed for several blocks by the witness before he lost sight of the vehicle.
Niles detectives identified Ayoubi as the suspect in the sex assault and took him into custody in Schiller Park following a surveillance operation.
“It was a combination of witness statements and some other investigative techniques that we don’t want to reveal at this time,” Niles Police Sgt. Robert Tornabene said of how investigators were able to identify Ayoubi as their suspect.
Police believe Ayoubi worked in the area of the tanning salon and that could be a reason why he targeted that particular business, Tornabene said.
The victim was transported to Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago where she was treated and released, Tornabene said.
Ayoubi is a registered sex offender with a conviction in Kendall County for indecent solicitation of a child, according to the Illinois Sex Offender registry. The alleged crime involved a 12-year-old girl and occurred when Ayoubi was 21 years old, the website indicates.
Ayoubi appeared in Cook County Circuit Court Dec. 7 where bond was set at $1 million. His next court appearance is Dec. 17.