Chicago cop held on $100,000 bail, accused of having sex with prisoner
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN AND FRANK MAIN Staff Reporters September 28, 2012 9:52AM
Cook County Sheriff's Department of Correction mugshot of Nelson Stewart, 59, Chicago Police officer charged with sexual misconduct involving a suspect in a Harrison District lockup.
Updated: October 30, 2012 6:06AM
A veteran Chicago cop promised a male prostitute an early release from jail in exchange for sex, prosecutors said Friday.
Nelson Stewart, a 59-year-old lockup keeper, was ordered held on $100,000 bail on charges of custodial sexual misconduct, bribery and official misconduct.
The victim was a 30-year-old man arrested June 6 in the 4500 block of West Monroe after he flagged down an undercover cop and offered to perform sex for $20, officials said. The man was taken to the Harrison District and placed in the lockup.
Stewart told the inmate that if he did him a “favor” he could be released later that day, Assistant State’s Attorney Lynn McCarthy said. Stewart told the victim he controlled the paperwork at the district, according to a police report.
Stewart performed oral sex on the man and the man performed oral sex on him, prosecutors said.
After the victim reported the incident to a Harrison District watch commander, the police Internal Affairs Bureau was contacted. The victim identified Stewart in a lineup, McCarthy said.
Biological samples submitted to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab matched Stewart’s and the victim’s DNA, McCarthy said.
Once he was placed under investigation, Stewart turned in his service revolver and had been working civilian desk duty, said his attorney, Robert Kuzas.
Stewart, a divorced father of two college-aged children, ages 19 and 21, is a “hardworking” man, Kuzas told Judge Edward Harmening.
Stewart, who appeared in court wearing slacks and a red and white jacket, is an active member of the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Kuzas said. He also volunteers with the Breast Cancer Walk and works with children participating in track-and-field activities at Douglas Park, Kuzas said, asking for Stewart to be released on his own recognizance.
“He’s a real nice guy,” Kuzas, a longtime friend of Stewart, said following bond court. “He’s a very capable officer, very honorable.”
After posting bond Friday evening, Stewart declined to answer questions and flashed both middle fingers at reporters outside the Cook County courthouse at 26th and California.
If convicted, Stewart could face up to seven years in prison.
The victim has pleaded guilty to prostitution and received 24 months of probation.
Stewart was among four officers accused in a federal lawsuit of breaking a prisoner’s jaw and rib in the same lockup in 2006. The city settled with the alleged victim for $72,500.