The Cook County jail guard who was being held in that facility on rape charges has been transferred to another jail for his own safety, authorities said today.
Robert Buchanan, 45, was charged with predatory criminal sexual assault in connection with the rape of a 10-year-old girl in 1997. The charge stemmed from a 2007 raid by law enforcement agencies on the Harvey Police Department in which dozens of untested rape kits were discovered and seized.
State's attorney investigators then obtained a DNA sample from Buchanan and linked him to the rape.
Buchanan was transferred to the Kankakee County Jail this morning, said sheriff's department spokesman Steve Patterson.
"Given that Buchanan once worked as a correctional as a correctional officer at our facility, we have deemed it in the best interest of our security to have him held there while awaiting trial, " he said.
If he posts bond on his $200,000 bail, he will be transferred back to Cook County Jail and processed for release, Patterson said.
In 2007, the girl told her mother about Buchanan's alleged assaults, which authorities said took place over a seven-month period in the Harvey home where Buchanan was living with the girl and her mother.
The girl was taken to a hospital where a rape kit and was taken and semen identified, they said.
The mother contacted Harvey police, who questioned Buchanan but released him without charges and without sending the rape kit to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab for testing, officials said.
Buchanan has been on disability leave from the sheriff's department since November for a knee injury.