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Port Richey teens accused raping elderly woman to be charged as adults

PORT RICHEY — The two teenagers accused of sexually assaulting and attempting to smother an 89-year-old woman earlier this month will be charged as adults, the State Attorney's Office announced Monday.

Carlos Fernandez, 15, and Luis Reyes Jr., 14, face charges of attempted murder, involuntary sexual battery, burglary and robbery. Authorities say the two are dropouts, but friends and family members say they are students at Ridgewood High.

Johnathan Rodriguez, 20, was arrested April 13 on the same charges.

According to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the three men broke into the woman's Palm Terrace Gardens home about 1 a.m. April 8.

The woman — who is about 4 feet 11 inches and weighs maybe 85 pounds — told deputies she confronted them, but they pushed her back into her bedroom.

She was punched in the face and body numerous times and raped. Then the assailants pressed her pillow on her face. "Is she dead yet?" she heard a voice say.

The woman fought back, according to a neighbor who talked with her later. She kicked one in the groin and the assailants fled.

She walked a few blocks to a neighbor and was taken to a hospital, where authorities were called at 6 a.m.

Less than a week before the attack, authorities said, Fernandez, Reyes and another neighborhood boy, Sean Maus, 16, took the hinges off the woman's garage door while she slept and got into the house. They stole a flashlight and took her red Pontiac Sunfire "for a joyride." The car was recovered.

Maus, who neighbors say helped the woman around the house but bragged that he stole money from her pocketbook, was charged in the joyride but not in the attack.

Helen Anne Travis can be reached at htravis@sptimes.com or (813) 435-7312.

Port Richey teens accused raping elderly woman to be charged as adults 04/20/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 20, 2009 10:31pm]
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