By Jack Molitor The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — 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.
Newman’s decision came after two mental health doctors — Dr. Rebecca Mueller of Greenfield and Dr. Frank Krause of Muncie — split on whether the teen was mentally competent to assist in his own defense. Mueller determined the teen was competent, and Krause disagreed.
Both agreed the teen is on the borderline of being mentally disabled, with Mueller determining Taylor has an IQ of 71 and Krause determining he has an IQ of 67. The doctors also indicated Taylor had been taking special education classes at Anderson High School “for as long as he can remember.” Krause estimated Taylor possesses the intelligence of a 9- or 10-year-old.
The ruling of incompetency sent Taylor to Logansport State Hospital, a special state psychiatric facility, for nearly three months. On Dec. 26, officials in Logansport deemed he was competent and he was sent back to Madison County Jail for the case to continue.
After Taylor was returned, Newman said that if at any point during the trial, he perceives Taylor is again mentally incompetent to stand trial, he would stop the proceedings.
On March 14, Anderson Police Department filed a court order for a mouth swab and blood test of Taylor to check for sexually transmitted diseases. The order, which was granted by the court, was requested by the victim, according to court documents.
The Herald Bulletin doesn’t usually release the names of victims, but Rudolf agreed to be identified and spoke publicly at a press conference in August. At the conference, she said she’s been unable to return to the home where the attack happened. Her family has called for a harsh punishment for the suspect.
WISH-TV, The Herald Bulletin’s news-gathering partner, reported in August that Angela Taylor, the teenager’s mother, said he was asleep when the attack happened. However, during the court hearing with Dr. Mueller, it was indicated the teen’s mother told police he was outside in the neighborhood at the time of the attack. Phone calls placed to the Taylor household by The Herald Bulletin have gone unanswered.
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Iquise Taylor trial Charges: Rape, criminal confinement, criminal deviate conduct, strangulation for an alleged attack on a 93-year-old Anderson woman Trial date: April 8, Madison Circuit Court 3