The Herald Bulletin

March 31, 2014

Man accused of raping autistic woman sued by victim's family

By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin

---- — ANDERSON — A 69-year-old man accused of having sexual contact with a 20-year-old autistic woman has been sued by the alleged victim’s family.

George H. Eltzroth of Frankton was in court Monday for a hearing on the monetary damages civil case, which was filed along with a restraining order against him on March 21. Eltzroth’s wife also filed for a dissolution of their marriage on the same day. Eltzroth faces three counts of rape and three counts of criminal deviate conduct — both Class B felonies — in the criminal case.

The offense allegedly committed by Eltzroth happened on March 12 at his home in the 9800 block of North County Road 400 West in Frankton. According to the probable cause affidavit, a 17-year-old boy at the home said he witnessed Eltzroth lure the autistic woman into a bedroom, where he sexually assaulted the woman.

According to the affidavit, Eltzroth admitted to the attacks in an interview with detectives from the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, and said he had been in sexual contact with the woman about half a dozen times over the past six months. Eltzroth was released on bond a day after he was arrested.

Detectives also spoke to the alleged victim, but she was unable to give a clear account of what happened.

In the civil case hearing on Monday, Evan Broderick, attorney for the woman’s family, requested that the temporary restraining order be made permanent and that Eltzroth’s assets be frozen. Broderick accused Eltzroth of moving a sizable portion of his financial assets in preparation for the civil case. During the hearing, it was revealed that Eltzroth owns about 200 acres of farmland and is worth at least a million dollars.

Broderick said he was worried that unless Eltzroth’s assets were frozen, the victim’s family would be chasing the money for years.

Eltzroth’s attorney, John Brooke, argued against the injunction, and said the farmer would be unable to legally defend himself in the criminal or civil case if his assets were frozen.

After hearing both arguments, Judge Carl Van Dorn continued the matter until more information was available.

According to previous stories in The Herald Bulletin, Eltzroth was active in the Madison County 4-H Livestock auction, and made steer purchases in 2007 and 2012. Public records indicate he has no criminal history.

Calls placed to Eltzroth’s home in Frankton have gone unanswered.

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