ANDERSON — With a jury selected and attorneys minutes away from opening statements Tuesday, a teen decided to forgo his trial and plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 93-year-old woman last summer.
Iquise Taylor, 17, will be sentenced on four felony charges on May 5, with the plea deal he accepted Tuesday capping his exposure to prison time at 50 years.
In front of his own family and victim Amelia Rudolf's family, Taylor pleaded guilty but mentally ill to each charge read by Madison Circuit Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman — burglary, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement and strangulation.
On July 16, Taylor kicked in the locked door to Rudolf's home in the 3600 block of Hamilton Place in Anderson. He then confined her to a bed, covered her mouth and raped her, according to court conversations and previous reports.
Authorities narrowed the suspect list to Taylor, thanks to witness reports and Taylor's own reported confession. Taylor's DNA was also found at the scene.
As the charges were read and accepted Tuesday, members of both families wept and held one another.
Outside the courtroom, the teen's mother, Angela Taylor, said she couldn't bring herself to speak about the case. Tresa Hale, the daughter of the victim, said the family wanted to wait before making an announcement.
"I think they've handled it as well as can be expected. Both [Rudolf], and the family," Deputy Prosecutor Steve Koester said. "When you think about, she's been living in that house her whole life, and now she can't live there anymore. It's been an extremely traumatic experience."
Deputy Prosecutor Rosemary Khoury said local and state investigators worked extremely hard on the case, and she felt the family was satisfied with the result.
"I think it's good the victim doesn't have to be here and describe in front of all these people the horrible things that happened to her," Khoury noted.