ANDERSON — With a trial about two weeks away for a teenager accused of raping a 93-year-old woman, county officials are moving forward with felony charges.
Seventeen-year-old Iquise Taylor faces felony charges of rape, criminal deviate conduct, criminal confinement and strangulation in connection with the sexual attack on July 16. After the case was filed last summer, several twists and turns have occurred in litigation and are leading to an April 8 trial date in Madison Circuit Court 3.
Early on July 16, someone kicked in the locked door to Amelia Rudolf’s home in the 3600 block of Hamilton Place, according to court documents. The attacker confined her to a bed, covered her mouth with a hand and raped her. Nothing was reported stolen and nothing was vandalized.
Taylor, of Anderson, was arrested Aug. 23 and his name was released during a news conference on Aug. 26, after he was waived to adult court on the felony charges. Taylor initially denied the attack in early August, but a DNA sample from the teen matched DNA taken from the scene, according to authorities.
In August, the court issued a gag order on the case at the request of Taylor’s attorney, Bryan Williams. The order bars any representatives in the case from making public statements, written or oral, regarding the case outside of public record forums. This includes prosecutors and police officers.
Such gag orders are common in high-profile cases when there is concern that media attention could derail a defense strategy. According to the original request, further media contact would likely produce a result of undue prejudice toward Taylor. The request noted that Taylor’s case had already received extensive media coverage and officials involved had made extrajudicial statements on the matter.
In October, Judge Thomas Newman, who is overseeing the case in Court 3, ruled that Taylor was mentally incompetent to stand trial. At the time, Newman said it was his responsibility as judge to act as a gatekeeper to ensure a fair trial, and it would be in the best interest of justice to rule Taylor incompetent.