Elderly woman assaulted in home
By David Waite
Advertiser Staff Writer
Police are searching for a man accused of sexually assaulting an 85-year-old Kaimuki woman at knife point Saturday after breaking into her apartment.
Anyone with information on this assault may call Detective Phillip Buchanan directly at 529-3815. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME on cellular phones. Honolulu CrimeStoppers Inc. will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in the arrest of a wanted person or the solving of cases reported to CrimeStoppers.
Anyone with information on this assault may call Detective Phillip Buchanan directly at 529-3815. Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or *CRIME on cellular phones.
Honolulu CrimeStoppers Inc. will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that results in the arrest of a wanted person or the solving of cases reported to CrimeStoppers.
Police said they are working to see if the break-in and assault are linked to other cases, and are comparing the technique used to break into the woman's home to that used in some unsolved cases. Police would not say how the man broke into the apartment.
Detective Phillip Buchanan said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
Christine Trecker, manager of community outreach education for the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, said the center has treated sex-abuse victims over the age of 60 about once or twice annually over the past several years.
"But it is our sense here that the number of elder abuse incidents is very under-reported," Trecker said. "The older you are, the less likely you are to speak up."
Older sex-abuse victims are often too ashamed to tell someone that they have been assaulted, she said.
"It's important for people to know that you can be a sex-assault victim at any age. Older victims are often isolated and dependent on others for care which kind of makes them ripe for the picking."
Trecker said people don't associate sexual assaults with older victims.
"People still tend to think of sexual-assault victims in terms of young females in their early 20s. But we know there are a lot of others out there who are victims," she said.
The case involving the Kaimuki woman is rare because the assailant was a stranger, Trecker said. "More often, it's someone they know or someone they trust," she said.
Sex-abuse victims treated at the center have ranged from the very young to the very old. "The youngest on record is two months and the oldest is 98 years," Trecker said.
During 2003, the Sex Abuse Treatment Center provided crisis, counseling or medical/legal services to 664 sexual assault victims. The figures for 2004 are not complete yet, but Trecker said they will likely be about the same as 2003.
Detective Letha DeCaires, who has worked closely with HPD's sex crimes detail for the past 15 years, said the oldest sex-assault victim she encountered, in the early 1990s, was "in her 70s."
"Then, in 1993, I had two older sex-assault victims, one 61 and the other 62," DeCaires said.
Advertiser staff writer Peter Boylan contributed to this report.