» This Story:Read +| Comments

Speaking out for elderly victims of rape

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 11, 2011; 10:37 PM

For years, criminal profilers and psychologists have studied rapists who target elderly women.

This Story

Two such victims from Montgomery County offered their own opinions Friday as they spoke publicly about their attacks for the first time.

"Arrogant little twerp," said the 69-year-old, who suffers from spinal stenosis, or a narrowing of the spinal canal, and walks with a cane.

"A dehumanizing being, a controller," said the 87-year-old, who uses a walker and until recently lived across the street from the other woman in Germantown.

Detectives think that the same man sexually assaulted both women a total of three times. Police asked the women to speak with reporters Friday to help generate more attention to the case. Officials also announced a reward of up to $5,000 for help in solving the case.

The Washington Post generally does not name victims of sexual assault without their consent.

The 87-year-old, a grandmother of two, was raped on Aug. 21 after the attacker entered an unlocked window of her residence at an assisted living facility.

A longtime practitioner of yoga and meditation, she has used them both to help get through the aftermath. She also recently wrote a poem called "Hell."

"I did not think I believed in you, the opposite of heaven, love, compassion, caring, but now I do," the poem begins. "I have experienced Hell in the form of a man, an intruder. . . . You made a choice to prey on elderly women, knowing they could not defend themselves."

Detectives describe the suspect as a black male or dark-skinned Hispanic, possibly 16 to 25 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, with a thin build and no facial hair.

"My hunch is this guy lives in the area. He has kept these women under surveillance," said Ann Wolbert Burgess, a nationally known expert in forensic nursing who has studied rapists who target older women. "He has to have seen them to know they couldn't get away."

She said there are no national statistics on how often older people are raped but that it is more common than people think. "It's incredible that there are so many victims out there," she said.


CONTINUED     1        >


» This Story:Read +| Comments

More in the Metro Section

Local Blog Directory

Find a Local Blog

Plug into the region's blogs, by location or area of interest.

Virginia Politics

Blog: Va. Politics

Here's a place to help you keep up with Virginia's overcaffeinated political culture.

D.C. Taxi Fares

D.C. Taxi Fares

Compare estimated zoned and metered D.C. taxi fares with this interactive calculator.

FOLLOW METRO ON:
Facebook Twitter RSS
|
GET LOCAL ALERTS:
© 2011 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile