67-year-old Rape Victim Targeted Twice

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

It's a woman's worst nightmare: becoming the victim of a sexual assault. Now, Texas Department of Public Safety Investigators are looking into the possibility that a serial rapist may have targeted the same woman twice.

Yoakum Police said the assault happened early Monday morning. The same woman was targeted in January by a man authorities believe is responsible for eight attacks on elderly women who live alone in Central and South Texas.

Another rape in Yoakum has already been linked by DNA to rapes in Marquez, in Leon County and Zabcikville, in Bell County. The suspect is also believed to be responsible for two other rapes in Leon County, another in Seaton, in Bell County, and one in Marlin, in Falls County.

These days it isn't just sheriff's deputies keeping an eye on Leon County streets; both Marquez and Centerville have formed community watches.

"We've already been complacent, and this is what complacency may have brought," said James Ellison. Ellison, along with Andy and Diane Stewart, are heading up the Centerville Area Neighborhood Watch.

"What if someone saw something earlier and this could already be put to an end," said Ellison.

They, along with another 30 people are organizing night patrols and neighborhood watches, and hoping their vigilance will be contagious.

"Once they realize we're out there, what's to keep them from keeping an eye on their next door neighbor and their other neighbor," said Andy Stewart.

Wednesday, word spread that a victim already assaulted by the serial rapist had been attacked again on Monday. While Investigators in Yoakum are trying to determine if the assault was done by the same man, the Leon County Sheriff's Office wasn't taking any chances.

"We felt it best that we go ahead and contact our victims up here," said Leon County Sheriff Jerry Wakefield. Wakefield said his office is also continuing heavy patrols near the three Leon County victims' homes.

"Nobody's safe, not even if they've been visited before," said Diane Stewart.

However, the group said their county will not live in fear, but said whoever is committing these heinous crimes, should.

"We want him to be scared to death that we're watching," said Ellison.

The next meeting for the Centerville Area Neighborhood Watch is November 23, at 6 p.m. at Home Sweet Home Healthcare. After that, the group plans to meet the second Monday of every month.

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