UPDATED 2/10/11 4:47 p.m.

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. (CBS) – A former west suburban high school football player was charged with sexual assault Wednesday, more than a year after the alleged attack, which occurred on the same day he was involved in a fatal car crash.

Demarco Whitley, 18, who lives on Saint Moritz Drive in Glen, Ellyn was charged with one count of criminal sexual assault, police said. Bond for Whitley was set at $50,000 Wednesday. He is set to appear in court again on March 3 in Rolling Meadows.

As CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports, 15-year-old girl alleged that Whitley and fellow Glenbard West football star Pierre Washington-Steel sexually assaulted her more than a year ago before Washington-Steel and Whitley got into a car crash. Washington-Steel died. Whitley was critically injured.

Rolling Meadows Police Chief David Scanlan said it took this long to bring charges because police needed time to examine physical evidence from the alleged rape.

“We wanted to be thorough and complete and make sure we had a good case and that’s what you have to do when you’re dealing with physical evidence related-type cases,” Scanlan said.

The attack and the car accident happened on Jan. 29, 2010. The victim reported the rape the next day.

The girl told police she had been raped by two young men and she knew one of them from school.

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, the assault allegedly took place in the offender’s vehicle, while it was parked behind a church at 2300 Cardinal Dr. in Rolling Meadows.

Prosecutors have said that both young men sexually assaulted the girl inside the car and the tossed a condom from the car when they were done. Police said they discovered that condom when the victim reported the rape.

Investigators soon learned that the two alleged offenders were involved in a car crash about an hour after the attack. Whitley was the passenger in the vehicle and was injured in the crash.

The other suspect was the driver of the car, 17-year-old Pierre Washington-Steel, who was killed in the crash. Washington-Steel was a football teammate of Whitley at Glenbard West.

Physical evidence from the sexual assault was sent to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab on Feb. 11, 2010.

A DNA sample was collected from Whitley on March 4, 2010, after he recovered from his injuries. That sample was sent to the lab on March 9, 2010, for comparison to the recovered evidence.

Rolling Meadows Police received the state crime lab report on February 3, 2011, almost 11 months later. Whitley was arrested five days later.

“What evidence we did have, we submitted to the lab and we stayed with it and monitored it and took action … as quickly as we got the information back from the state lab,” Scanlan said.

Friends of Demarco Whitley had nothing but good things to say about the Glenbard West High football player, now charged with criminal sexual assault, involving a 15-year-old girl.

“He’s not the type of dude, like, the kid to, like, do that,” said his friend Corey Keys.

“They’re nice people. But, they did what they did. I don’t know if they did it, but it’s what it is,” another classmate said.

Whitley’s family declined comment on Thursday.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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