An Evanston man is being held on $600,000 bond on charges he beat and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old runaway and forced her into prostitution.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office says Donzell Mintz, 21, befriended the girl last month on Chicago’s South Side after she ran away from home.

After a few days Mintz moved to Evanston where he allegedly forced the victim into prostitution and drug dealing.

Last Wednesday, prosecutors say, Mintz got into an argument with the girl and struck her in face, breaking her jaw and several teeth, which required surgery to repair.

Mintz, who’s on parole for a 2011 robbery conviction, today was ordered held without bail for the parole violation and held on $600,000 bond for the new charges. He’s due back in Skokie district court Oct. 16.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Charming fellow

    If Mintz forced this 14 year old into prostitution and drug dealing then it tells me he's banging with some bad people. Then he breaks her jaw and face so badly the girl needs surgery. What a charming fellow.

    It appears Mintz had worked at Curt's Cafe under a program designed to train youthful ex-offenders.

    Looks like Curt's Cafe lost one here for sure.

    The city last December gave Curt's Cafe a $15,000 loan at a time the owners had more than $17,000 in unpaid property taxes and did not have non-profit status (it does now). Curt's Cafe in the spring also received a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation.

    Win some, lose some I guess.

  2. Innocent until proven Not!!

    The assumption in both comments is guilt based on charges and not on a legal judgement.  While the charges may be reprehensible they are not yet proven.  Let's remember that we still live in a society that assumes innocence until proven guilty. As to the slam on Curt's Cafe which offers opportunities to young people with previous legal records- that is reprehensible!!!   Curt's is providing  chances for young people to change their lives and the city of Evanston supports that mission as it should.  

    1. Ms.Fonda, I understand what

      Ms.Fonda, I understand what you are saying. But is there a charity that will hire and support this victim? Assuming the allegations are true. Who deserves the help and support more: a convicted felon, or a young victim that was allegedly sexually abused, manipulated, used, and beaten? Will Curt's Cafe' help this child out? Should they? Why not direct resources, efforts and charities toward victims rather than violent felons?

      1. Mintz came from Chicago

        Mintz came from Chicago's South side to work at Curt's Cafe.

        Curt's Cafe is trying to help out but it is bringing in convicted violent offenders from other areas into Evanston. I'd love to know where in Evanston did Mintz live and who, if anyone, helped him.

        Remember last year how many residents did not want Felony Franks in their neighborhood? Felony Franks, which exclusively hires ex-cons, wanted to open in Evanston's 2nd Ward. But many residents didn't want it. How much of it was the name and how much was the fact it hired ex-cons? 

        Curt's Cafe I think is a good program but aren't there job programs for ex-offenders in Chicago? Why can't Curt's Cafe cater to Evanston and North Shore kids only? Just wondering.

        1. Mintz is from Evanston

          The young man in custody lives in Evanston as do the majority of students who work in the Curts Cafe program.

          1. Evanstonian?

            He only recently moved here, most likely with the aid if some other "do good" program.  He's originally a Chicago resident and lived there when he committed his original crimes. Thanks for bringing him to town!

          2. Evanston vs. Chicago is NOT the issue

            Would this crime be not as bad if it happened on the South Side of Chicago rather than Evanston? Would the 14-year-old girl be less hurt and victimized if this happened somewhere you didn't have to think about it? The problem is not that this happened in Evanston but that it happened at all. Are you so selfish and ignorant that you would rather that this girl was prostituted in her own neighborhood rather than yours? Please think about the true issues here. Rape is rape in Evanston and in Chicago. Pain is just the same there as it is here. 

  3. What will happen to this very young girl?

    I'm dismayed by the accused but personally, I'm  more concerned about what will happen to the victim. Being removed from this man's conrol and sent to the hospital is not going to be the end of her story by any means. The trauma from which she was rescued may prevent her from normal social bonds for the rest of her life. Even with lots of treatment. Let's give the future of the victim the same amount of resources as the treatment of the accused.

    Today at, was an article about what happens to girls after sex-trafficking.

  4. How horrible to criticize Curt’s cafe

    Curt's cafe has been an amazing place for many young people in our community. We are very saddened with what has happened with Donzell. But I agree with Dickelle, nothing has been proven yet, and the anonymous comments are reprehensible. No wonder they are anonymous.

    As a volunteer at Curt's I have been able to see the positve change and hope for the future that Curt's offers so many of the young people that come through the program. They are given the opportunity to learn and grow, and feel cared for. 

    I am proud that Curt's is in our community. There are many devoted volunteers and patrons that share in the pride of observing the dedication and good work that is happening everyday at Curt's.

  5. Services for victims of sexual violence

    Good questions raised here regarding care for women who are survivors of sexual violence. Ensuring that the accused recieve the opportunity for his day in court does not preclude or exclude the need for vicitims of such crimes to also be cared for.   In this case there are wonderful  counseling and advocacy services provided for free in Evanston by the Northwest Center against Sexual Assault which rents space at the YWCA in Evanston.  I am sure the the EPD victim witness advocates will make the appropriate referral of this young woman to those services. 

  6. Importing crime and criminals

    I shouldn’t be the least bit surprised at the reprehensible comments in support of Curt’s Café from liberal Evanstonians. Ms. Liten says “We are very saddened with what has happened with Donzell” Seriously?  Donzell? Poor, Poor Donzell. This 14 year old girl was sexually abused, forced into prostitution and drug dealing then beaten so badly she needs surgery. This could have been any one of our children that frequent this establishment or live in the area. We should all be outraged that Curt’s Café is importing crime and criminals into Evanston. Perhaps Curt’s Café can help pay for this poor child’s medical costs? Take some responsibility with this employee of yours.
    I too would really like to know who assisted this thug with moving into Evanston. In one article, Susan Trieschman said “the road to opening the experimental business was far from smooth, with some neighbors concerned about the business drawing former criminals to Central Street”. Well, this is exactly what has occurred. We as citizens of Evanston should move immediately to put an end to this. Take off the rose colored glasses and realize some people are beyond help and despite all the hand-outs, programs, and money they are unwilling to change.

  7. Wake Up: This is Your Problem Too

    Curt's Cafe opens its program to at-risk youth struggling to make positive change in their lives who have been referred by high-ups in law enforcement and the judicial system. Curt's Cafe serves a vulnerable population whose hardships reflect their own tough upbringings. Curt's Cafe creates a community where individuals see each other as people, fellow men and women, and not as thugs or felons or enemies. Curt's Cafe pours resources and support into youth who deserve better, who have been wronged by the current systems in place and who have persevered through far more than most upper-middle class patrons of the Cafe. Curt's Cafe does a lot of things, a lot of wonderful things for these youth and for Evanston as a whole but there are certain things that it does not and cannot do.

    What doesn't Curt's Cafe do? Well for one, Curt's Cafe does not pretend that it is easy to serve young adults who have troubled backgrounds due to the circumstances they were dealt. Curt's Cafe does not pretend that it can tell the future, that it can control the every move of its employees when the cafe closes and they leave for the night. Curt's Cafe does not naively imagine that it can undo 18+ years of hunger, poverty, fear, abuse, or worse in just a few months of serving coffee. Curt's Cafe does everything it can to support and grow its students but these are young adults with their own motivations who make their own choices. And let me assure you, even the most privleged young people in Evanston make extremely poor choices so socioeconomic status is not the drive behind this motivation.

    And to those of you stating that Curt's Cafe IMPORTS CRIMINALS into Evanston…it is you who create the system that sets these kids up to fail. You import goods. You import tools. You import slaves. YOU DO NOT IMPORT CHILDREN, YOUTH, PEOPLE. Those of you who try to make a point, to scare the residents of Evanston into thinking this young, 14-year old victim could have been their own daughter, you're wrong. How would your daughter, safe at home full from a homecooked meal sitting in a warm house with loving parents helping her with her homework ever end up in the South Side of Chicago as a runaway fleeing a home situation so seemingly terrible that she is quick to befriend a much older stranger on the streets? She wouldn't.

    Curt's Cafe serves at-risk youth. High-risk youth, even. Risk is in the word and it is a reality that Curt's does not try to hide. You cannot pretend to support social progress until it gets tough.  And you cannot pretend that a community 45-minutes down the highway is so distant and secluded that its problems are not your problems. There are so many issues at hand here (like why Evanston would appear to be a profitable location for an underage prostitution ring) that spending time and energy blaming Curt's Cafe as an employer is laughable. This is not the Curt's problem nor is it the South Side's problem or the African American community's problem. This is everyone's problem and we should be applauding programs likes Curt's that invest in youth so that more tragedies like this one can be avoided. 

    1. Who are you to say?

      You're assuming that kids "safe at home full from a homecooked meal" are safe from this sort of danger? Does the name Ariel Castro mean anything to you? There are enough predators out there. It's valid to be concerned about bringing more into the neighborhood.

    2. Nicely stated

      You have stated the case for Curt's well, though the bit about importing slaves was a bit much. It should be pointed out that the victim in this case may have needed help well before this happened. Perhaps there is where we should put city funding as personally I am on the side of victims.

  8. Do liberals have actual problems?

    Holy cow! 

    Do liberals have actual problems? Do they even have Northshore Problems?

    If someone wants to create a business, even a not for profit, that seeks out and employs those that they think need help then thats their right. Its America.

    If that business brings a criminal to town that hurts someone then there might be some accoutablilty on their part. There might not be. It would depend on the set of circumstances that lead to that individualperson's hiring 

    If you dont like this business then dont go spend money there. If you do then go there. Again its America.

    It does seem like questionable judgement that the City provides them with 3K if someone works there a month. Am I reading that right? I can see they would do that with the budget surplus and no debt that Evanston enjoys.

    I got a business plan. How about having Northshore liberal elitists work in the service industry for a month and then work in a manual labor job for a month. Maybe that would have the grouding effect they so desperately need to deal.

    1. Where is the real ‘support’ by ‘supporters’

      "How about having Northshore liberal elitists work in the service industry for a month and then work in a manual labor job for a month."


      This sounds like a good idea.  Have the Council members work for a month [e.g. their evenings] at any organization they want to give gifts to, before the money is given out.  Then they would understand the business/charity before they determine if they really need the money and if it is a worthy project.

      How many liberal supporters of Curt's and other such buinesses/charity, donate their time to work there ?  Make their private dontations ?   We [and I mean the whole US] have got in so many financial problems by assuming government should do everything instead of individuals contriuting their time and money.  Hence we get so much waste and no oversight.  Then more and more groups [some worthy] ask for money but we don't have the money left to support worthy groups but then again where are the private donors and workers.

      I'm long past being amazed at how many liberals when asked to help [money/time] say the government taxes so the government should do so.  Instead they want to give their money to the opera houses, etc.–and of course get their name on a building or at least box seat.

  9. The 14 year old in question

    The 14 year old in question is my neice. And right now im speechless. I hope aand pray that God heals her and Have some mercy on this guy. God is Good and when her wounds heal, maybe we will get some insight into what happened. Prayers for my neice and this other kid no one never wins in these situations

    1. Thoughts and prayers for the victim

      Thank you for writing. Please let your niece know that there are many people thinking of her and praying for her recovery from this horrible ordeal. I hope that her family and friends, along with community resources, can help heal her wounds.

  10. Enough about the cafe’- it’s about monitoring violent parolees

    The real issue is why is a violent felon allowed to roam the streets and allegedly do drugs, and sexually abuse a minor while on parole? He was supposed to be in prison but someone made the decision to let him out early because they felt he was no longer a threat to society. I get it, budget problems. But for violent criminals, ie people that use weapons to rob people like he did, why not put one of those gps things on them like they do for the criminals that are sentenced to home confinement? And why do we not hear from the major news sources about all the harm these parolees do while they are out on parole? It should be a major story every time someone that is released early commits another crime. We have a right to know how often atrocities like this happens at the hands of a parolee. If they are going to release these people back into society early (before the end of their prison sentence) they better do a better job at monitoring them! End of story! This man should have still been in jail from the armed robbery according to the article. He was let out early and allowed to roam the streets terrorizing this poor little child (14 YEARS YOUNG)without anybody monitoring him. Why!?!? How?!? Who is responsible for letting him out early and not monitoring him. That is what is reprehensible!

    1. Preckwinkle: In favor of putting even more criminals on parole

      Please, somebody needs to advise her of how many of these parolees hurt other people when they are released early. Mr. Mintz's beating and abusing this young girl, if true, is a perfect example. Someone needs to put the real stories of the victims, like this one, in front of Preckwinkle before she opens the gates early and releases all of these criminals back on the streets. 

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