GREENFIELD, Ind.-- A man is behind bars, now linked to the sexual assault of two elderly women in Central Indiana. However court documents show, these cases may not be the first time the suspect is accused of this type of crime.
Charges were filed against Samuel L. Patterson, 56, in Marion County for rape, burglary, kidnapping and criminal confinement earlier this year related to the sexual assault of a 77-year old woman. Last week, investigators in Hancock County also filed charges of rape and burglary related to the sexual assault of a 91-year old woman.
"You don't want anybody to be a victim of this type of crime," Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said.
According to court documents, the first case happened in June 2018 in McCordsville. Police were called to an independent home on a retirement community property, Traditions of Brookside. The 91-year old woman told police she was pulled out of bed by a man who put a pillowcase over her head, asked where her money was and sexually assaulted her. Once he left she was able to push her emergency medical alert button. The front door was unlocked when employees arrived.
"Law enforcement was contacted, law enforcement was able to get there pretty quickly. As a result of that then they're able to being the process of gathering evidence pretty quickly," Eaton said.
About three months later Lawrence Police were called to another independent residence on a retirement community property. According to court documents, a 77-year old woman reported a man crawled through her kitchen window, covered her face with a sweater and sexually assaulted her.
According to court documents, investigators identified Samuel Patterson from a license plate on a vehicle parked not far from the incident in McCordsville. Court documents state "Detectives contacted Indiana State Parole agents and were informed that Mr. Patterson was not supposed to be at this address since Indiana State Parole denied him the ability to live there with his girlfriend who was a former employee of the correctional facility he was previously incarcerated in."
According to court documents, detectives learned that he was convicted in 1998 in LaPorte County, IN for a rape against a 79 year old female. After learning Patterson was identified in the sexual assault kit from the case in Lawrence, he was arrested and charged in Marion County in February. Last week, investigators in Hancock County also filed charges related to the case in McCordsville after getting back DNA evidence.
Traditions at Brookside released this statement following the arrest:
Traditions at Brookside was informed today that an arrest has been made in connection to the incident at that occurred on June 27, 2018. We are extremely grateful for the efforts of the McCordsville police department, and appreciative of their continual communication with our community.
We have been inspired by our resident’s courage and strength, and thankful for our employees during, and after this incident. We also have been uplifted by the outpouring of support we have witnessed within the McCordsville community.
We will continue to meet with residents, employees, and families regarding any questions or concerns.
"Next to kids I think seniors are our most vulnerable population," Mary Durell, the interim CEO and COO for CICOA Aging and In-home Solutions.
She works with seniors in Central Indiana. She said according to the Community Assessment Survey of Older Adults in 2017, about 23 percent of seniors reported they had experienced some safety problems related to being a victim of a crime, abuse or neglect.
"Just watch out for your neighbors. If you see something, call, report it," she said.
Traditions at Brookside also released this list of safety tips:
- If you use a medical alert device, make sure it is working properly and nearby at all times.
- Have your keys ready as you approach your door and make a habit of locking the door when you come into your home.
- Make sure all doors with locks have shut behind you after you come in or leave.
- Always lock your door, windows and patio doors when you leave, even if you're just going to the car or the mailbox.
- Make a habit of checking doors and windows to ensure they are closed and locked at bedtime.
- Consider using a drop bar to secure sliding glass doors.
- If you see any suspicious looking people in or around your home, call the police immediately.
- Replace any burned-out exterior lights, non-functional locks or doors, or broken windows in your home immediately.
- Never put your identification or address on your home or car key rings.
- Never hide spare keys
- Never leave notes on your door indicating your whereabouts or return time.
- Draw curtains or close blinds after dark. When the curtains are open at night, you can't see out, but others can see in.
- Make sure your garage code is not easy to guess: for example, 1-2-3-4, or 1-1-1-1.
- Be sure to lock your car and keep any valuables out of sight if left in a parked vehicle.
- Get to know your neighbors. Invite conversation often and establish trust. Good neighbors will watch your home when you are away, if you ask them. They can report suspicious activity to the police, or to you while you are away.
"The best thing that people can possibly do if they think they're a victim of crime is contact law enforcement," Eaton said.