She was pushed into court on Monday in a wheelchair, and, despite her fragility, took the stand to look the person suspected of raping her last year in the face and tell her story.
Asa Roberts, 19, allegedly snuck inside the 83-year-old’s victim’s house when she was cleaning the front yard, and waited for her to come inside. When she did, he cornered her, threw her onto the bed, put a knife to her neck, and raped her.
“I started to walk backwards. He started to follow me … and then all of a sudden I felt a hand on my neck … I was scared,” said the victim, whose name is being withheld.
According to the victim, Roberts yelled at her to give him money, but she told him she’s merely an old woman without any money to give.
The woman kept the sexual assault a secret at first but eventually told her daughter what happened.
“It was a long time he was doing it. … This was the most disgusting thing that has ever happened to me,” she said.
The police were then called, launching a 4-day-long manhunt for the attacker.
Roberts described to police how he managed to evade capture for days despite being the target of a massive manhunt in which cops nearly caught Roberts multiple times.
“I hid between the sheetrock and the insulation of the wall. I was watching the warrant squad, the K9 Unit and ESU search for me. I could see them, but they could not see me,” he said of one of his close encounters with law enforcement. “They could not catch me because I do parkour which teaches you how to jump from rooftops of buildings.”
Roberts maintained that while he did rob the women, he let his “friend” in through the back door and left him there with her after he got his loot.
“I did not do it, I let the other guy in the back door, I don’t want to be a snitch, but I was just the lookout. I don’t need nothing like that. I can get girls and I get money, my mother gives me money,” Roberts told police soon after his arrest in mid-July.
City Councilmember Chaim Deutsch, who represents the area where the crime occurred, asked police to charge Robert with a bias crime, noting that the rape took place after the victim reportedly told her attacker she was Jewish.
“I am shocked and disgusted at the heinous and barbaric nature of this crime against an elderly woman,” Deutsch said in a statement.
Roberts faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the main charge of predatory sexual assault.