CROWN POINT — A judge set bail Tuesday at $15,000 cash or $150,000 surety for a Chicago man charged with raping a woman and molesting a 12-year-old girl during a home invasion Nov. 13 in Hammond.
Garrett Whittenburg, 38, formally pleaded not guilty to felony charges of rape, child molesting, armed robbery, criminal confinement and burglary.
Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Nadia Wardrip asked Judge Natalie Bokota to set Whittenburg's bail at $20,000 cash or $200,000 surety, which is higher than the standard bond on such charges.
Wardrip said Whittenburg is a danger to the community and flight risk, because he has an extensive criminal history and is currently on parole in Illinois.
Defense attorney Angela Jones said Whittenburg turned himself in to police when he learned charges had been filed in the Hammond case.
Jones said Whittenburg is presumed innocent and asked for a bail of $10,000 cash or $100,000 surety.
According to court records, Whittenburg and another man entered the woman's Hammond home, placed a ski mask over her head and blindfolded the 12-year-old girl. When charges were filed against Whittenburg, police had not yet learned the identity of the second man.
Whittenburg is accused of raping the woman, and the girl was taken to another room where she was molested.
Bokota set Whittenburg's next court hearing for Jan. 18.