ANDERSON — Just about a mile from the neighborhood where 93-year-old Amelia Rudolf was raped in her home lives 86-year-old Violet Skaggs.
The mother, grandmother and great-grandmother said she’s never felt afraid in her home, but a family member lives just two houses from where Rudolf was attacked, allegedly by 17-year-old Iquise V. Taylor. And that does concern her.
“It’s just such a sad situation,” Skaggs said about the incident that has raised concerns throughout the city’s southeast side.
According to reports of the attack, early on July 16, a man kicked in the locked door to Rudolf’s home in the 3600 block of Hamilton Place. He confined her to a bed, covered her mouth with his hand and assaulted her. Nothing was reported stolen and nothing was vandalized.
The suspect, Taylor, was arrested Friday and his name was released in a news conference on Monday, after he was waived to adult court on the felony charges. Taylor initially denied the attack in early August, but then provided police with a DNA sample which matched DNA taken from Rudolf.
Taylor’s family is still denying the charges. WISH-TV, The Herald Bulletin news-gathering partner, reported on Tuesday that Angela Taylor, the teenager’s mother, said he was asleep when the attack happened.
The elderly victim spoke with her family at the news conference, expressing her gratitude to police. Rudolf’s daughter Tresa Hale called for a stringent penalty for Taylor, if he’s convicted, and said she hopes he lives a terrifying life in prison.
But Skaggs, who attended a neighborhood crime watch meeting at the East Side Church of God on Tuesday evening with about 30 others, said she feels compassion for the alleged assailant.
“There’s no excuse for what happened, but at some level, we’re all responsible for one another. Somewhere along the way, we let him down,” Skaggs said.