Updated: March 3, 2013 6:12AM
A Lake County jury convicted a Waukegan man of sexually assaulting an Evanston woman with learning disabilities.
A jury of nine men and three women returned the guilty verdict after deliberating for about three hours Friday.
Nsoni Mpulamasaka, 27, faces six to 30 years in prison for the aggravated criminal sexual assault conviction.
“I’m really, really proud of the strength this woman showed. With (her) learning disability, (she) had to go through being alone with (the defendant), being probed at the hospital and had to come in and face 12 people she doesn’t know and tell her story. I’m very proud of her,” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Reginald Mathews said.
The Evanston woman had gone out for a night of karaoke with friends June 16, 2011. Mpulamasaka joined the woman and her group of friends for a meal at Denny’s in Highland Park.
He sexually assaulted the woman in the parking lot of that Denny’s after the woman’s left her alone, according to Mathews.
Evidence against Mpulamasaka included significant injuries the victim suffered after the assault. The day after the incident, the defendant told police he had not met any girls the previous evening before he knew what the investigation was about, Mathews said.
Police found blood on a toothpaste cap in Mpulamasaka’s residence. That blood was matched to the victim’s DNA, Mathews said.
“I think the biggest pieces of evidence ... (were) the lies and the significant injuries and the victim’s blood at the defendant’s home,” Mathews said.
Defense attorney Jed Stone argued the incident was a case of consensual sex.
Mpulamasaka’s bond was revoked after his conviction. He is in custody at Lake County Jail.
He is due for sentencing March 15.