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Press Release

Federal Jury in Chicago Convicts Indiana Man on Kidnapping and Interstate Domestic Violence Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — An Indiana man has been convicted on federal charges for kidnapping and assaulting two former girlfriends.

ROBERT SPEED, 40, of Gary, Ind., held the victims against their will and repeatedly assaulted them with various dangerous weapons in May and July of 2019.  During the assaults, which occurred at residences and hotels in Gary, Ind., Chicago, and the Chicago suburbs, Speed repeatedly punched, hit, and choked the victims.  The victims, who had previous romantic relationships with Speed, testified at trial about their ordeals with Speed and the serious injuries he caused them.

The jury on Tuesday convicted Speed on all nine counts against him, including two counts of kidnapping and seven counts of interstate domestic violence.  Each kidnapping count is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, while each domestic violence count carries a maximum sentence of ten years.  U.S. District Judge Jorge L. Alonso set sentencing for March 26, 2024.

Robert Speed’s niece, SHIRLEY SPEED, 27, of Chicago, pleaded guilty prior to trial to an interstate domestic violence charge.  Shirley Speed admitted in a plea agreement that she and Robert Speed transported one of the victims from Gary, Ind., to Shirley Speed’s residence in Chicago, and then to a hotel room in South Holland, Ill.  Shirley Speed further admitted that her uncle held the victim against her will and assaulted her at both locations.  Shirley Speed was sentenced last month to two and a half years in federal prison.

The convictions were announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Chicago Police Department and Gary, Ind. Police Department provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sivashree Sundaram and Prashant Kolluri.

Updated December 13, 2023

Human Trafficking
Violent Crime