RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Two male juveniles are arrested after authorities say they broke into an 80-year-old woman's home, stole some property, and raped her.
It happened in the Trenholm Acres Subdivision around 9:00pm Tuesday night. "We really think they were just up to no good that day, and then it just got out of hand," says Richland County Deputy Monique Mack.
Deputies say the 14 and 15-year-olds broke into the woman's home and demanded money. "She gave them whatever they wanted," says Mack, "She was being very cooperative."
They say one of the teens was armed with a shotgun. The teens proceeded to vandalize the inside of the home and took some electronics, jewelry, and money before sexually assaulting the woman in a bedroom. They then fled on foot.
Sheriff Leon Lott says, "The acts committed in this incident were both vicious and were carried out with malicious intent." He claims he's never seen anything more devastating.
Deputies say the woman is out of the hospital. They say she's still recovering but is surrounded by family.
She was able to give a detailed description of the suspects, and deputies began questioning neighbors Wednesday morning about unusual activity. "At which time we had neighbors saying, 'Yeah, we saw two juveniles walking through. They looked like they were looking in and out of homes and saw some suspicious activity.'," says Mack. The sheriff's office says several individuals were able to identify the teens, who happened to live nearby.
Deputy Mack says your watchful eye can always help in cases like this. "We're in the holiday season," says Mack, "We're going to have students out for the next two weeks. If you see them doing something they shouldn't be doing, then give us a call. We'd rather go and address them than anyone else becoming a victim."
Both young men attend the Richland Two School District, but district officials aren't releasing what grade the boys are in. One of them was eventually located in the subdivision while the other was found at school. Both are in custody and being charged first-degree burglary, criminal sexual assault, kidnapping, and armed robbery. Sheriff Lott says right now the teens will be charged as juveniles, but investigators are working with the solicitor's office to decide if the teens should be charged as adults.