Elderly victim of rape and beating testifies in court

Elderly victim of rape and beating testifies

DEQUINCY, LA (KPLC) - It was heart wrenching to hear testimony from a 94-year-old DeQuincy woman who was brutally beaten and raped Jan. 28 of this year.

The tiny, frail looking woman was helped to the witness stand so her testimony could be recorded In case she is not available when the suspect goes to trial.

The alleged attacker, Gabe McKeel Jr.,  is charged with aggravated rape, aggravated battery and second degree battery.

The victim told how she was in her recliner to watch the Lawrence Welk Show when she saw a man in her house. She says he didn't speak but repeatedly punched her in the side of the face with one hand, while covering her mouth with his other hand.

The victim says she couldn't move her hands they were pinned from his weight, but testified that she tried to kick him. She says he slashed her panties to remove them. Testimony suggests she may have passed out during the attack.

She says after he left she waited a long time and then went through her house and turned on every light until help arrived.

District Attorney John DeRosier says it was brutal. "The evidence indicates this lady was beaten mercilessly and it could have easily resulted in her death. We will not tolerate abuse of our elderly in this parish. We are going to do everything within our power by legal means available, to put this defendant in the penitentiary for the rest of his natural life."

Testimony indicates the victim met the suspect in connection with work she needed done around the outside of her house. "Be careful the people you choose to come to or around your home to do work for you especially if you are elderly or infirmed in any kind of way because you really need to determine who these people are, get references."

The victim identified McKeel in the courtroom as the man who attacked her. She says her house was well locked and that he broke in through a window.

On cross examination the defense attorney asked whether she had seen news coverage about her attack. evidently trying to suggest what she watched on television or read may have influenced her testimony. The victim reportedly suffered a heart attack after the crime.

The trial of McKeel is set for September 17.

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