A Houston man was charged with sexual assault and robbery for infiltrating a Seniors center and pretending to be a maintenance worker to attack a 77-year-old woman.
Brian Arellano Monasterio made his way through the hallway door to the woman’s apartment, where he covered the hatch and knocked on the door.
Once inside, he dragged the woman into her bedroom, raped her, stole $ 160, and threatened to kill her if she made any noise.
The brutal attack grabbed headlines, when the Harris County Sheriff’s Office released photos and videos of a suspect entering the building in Building 13,800 on Canyon Hill Drive while wearing sunglasses and a hat to conceal his identity.
An advice to Crime Stoppers of Houston resolved the case, when an unidentified caller identified Monasterio, which was later matched to DNA, as part of a Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigation.
“This defendant deliberately injured and humiliated this elderly victim, and we look forward to a jury ruling on this despicable act,” said Harris County Attorney General Kim Og.
Monasterio, 29, was arrested a day after prosecutors presented evidence in the case to a grand jury, which voted for an indictment.
Assistant Attorney General Mary McFadden, head of the elder abuse department, said Monastrio faces life in prison if convicted.
She said: “This accused told the victim that he raped her because he had not had sex with an Asian woman.” “He violated her safety zone. He violated her home. He violated her. On many levels, this is a terrible assault.”
Monastero was charged with two counts of gross sexual assault against an elderly person and one count of aggravated theft of an elderly person. The judge will determine which bail will be set for the accused, but prosecutors filed an application on Wednesday demanding the amount be high.
The proposal states, “This is a crime of extreme violence.” This defendant specifically targeted a person on the basis of age and race. He violated it in multiple ways. It represents an aviation risk based on advice the defendant believes is applicable that the defendant’s family was trying to raise money to send the defendant to Mexico. “
By threatening a person over the age of 65, the crimes were elevated to first-degree felonies, which means that the maximum penalty is life imprisonment instead of 20 years.
“Seniors are among the most vulnerable in our societies, and we want to make sure that cases like these are prosecuted to the fullest extent possible so that our seniors can continue to live in safety and dignity,” said McFadden.
McFadden said reporting of crimes against older people is increasing due to increased awareness of abuse such as physical assault or financial wrongdoing. As the number of elderly people continues to grow, they are also being targeted more often. By 2050, twenty percent of the total population in the United States will be 65 years or older.
According to the AARP, one in ten Americans aged 60 or over have experienced some form of abuse – ranging from sexual violence to emotional to physical violence and financial manipulation.