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UPDATE: Additional Assault Charge Placed on Homeless Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Elderly Woman

An 83-year-old woman was trying to help a man she thought was homeless when he attacked her.

Updated 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7

Dennis D. Dodson, 34, was charged with assault on Monday, Oct. 3 in connection to an incident where Dodson threatened to stab an employee in the parking lot area of Home Depot, 7300 W. 159th Street, according to a release from the . The incident happened on Aug. 30 around 9:55 a.m.

Bail was set at $50,000 for the added charge.

Dodson was apparently living behind the store among trees when he attacked and sexually assaulted an 83-year-old woman who tried helping him on Sept. 23, police said.

Updated 5 p.m. Saturday

Police pressed charges on a homeless man for attacking and sexually assaulting an elderly woman Friday morning

Dennis D. Dodson Jr., 34, without a last known address, was charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony. He is scheduled to be in court Monday at the Bridgeview Courthouse for a bond hearing.

Updated 1:05 a.m. Saturday

Orland Park Police have questioned a man suspected of sexually assaulting an 83-year-old woman near 159th Street and Harlem Avenue Friday morning.

officers arrested the man thought to be responsible for the attack in the 17000 block of Harlem Avenue around 9:45 p.m., according to an update from the Orland Park Police Department. Orland Park police investigators then began questioning.

No charges had been filed as of 11:25 p.m. Friday. Investigators were unavailable for comment Saturday morning.

Around 11:15 a.m. Friday, the woman called police and said she was attempting to help a man she thought was homeless, and living in trees behind a department store in the 7300 block of 159th Street, according to an release.

The woman apparently has had previous contact with the man and attempted to help him before.

The man knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her before fleeing the scene when he saw an Orland Park police squad car, according to the release.

Police described the man as follows:

  • White
  • 35-45 years old
  • 5 feet 8 inches tall
  • Thin build
  • Curly red hair and red beard
  • Possibly wearing a black leather jacket and carrying a black backpack
  • Missing some teeth

Officials believe the man fled on a black bicycle, according to the report.

The woman was treated at Advocate South Suburban Hospital for minor injuries, police said.

Other law enforcement agencies were called in to search for the man, including the Cook County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, helicopter air unit and Forest Preserve District, as well as police from , and Orland Hills departments.

NANCY GRACE October 08, 2011 at 12:50 PM
Oak lawn gal....the homeless only sleep at PADS overnight and are released in the early morning. So they ARE wandering/loitering our streets. I am not talking about anyone who lost a job,house etc and need a temp place to reside. I am talking about the homeless who are abusing drugs,alcohol etc and are ok with not cleaning up their lives.
Oak Lawn Gal October 08, 2011 at 03:16 PM
Tony some of the new homeless are also using PADs to sleep overnight and get a meal. My concern is that many seem to be lumping them in as criminals just because they're using shelters. And as we've seen the guy who committed this crime lived outside in Orland (and probably other communities).
Dave October 09, 2011 at 12:07 PM
@G I have mixed feelings towards your reply a while back. First off, thank your governor who I did not vote for for getting rid of the death penalty in IL. Though he should be given a very tough sentence for the assault and the type of assault. Though we should not treat every homeless person as a criminal on here. As some of you are pointing out there is a problem with the economy and the job market and people are losing homes. Now if you lost your job and then your home and have no family left to fall back on, how do you think it would feel if rest of society thought you were a piece of trash, or criminal just because you were homeless and/or jobless? The problem with this fellow is just some other personal/mental issues which caused him to act the way he does. So don't judge people by a stereotype. Criminals have a choice, the homeless do not. This guy just happened to be a criminal who is homeless. I wonder what everyone's reactions would be if this story came out with the guy living in a million dollar mansion and he just had a perverted mind. Would you call rich people scumbags or would you even talk about the homeless problem? Learn to not discriminate based on a stereotype.
Resident October 12, 2011 at 04:16 PM
The problem is largely due to the lack of mental health care for the poor. Many of the homeless who abuse drugs etc. don't know how to clean up their lives or don't have the resources to do so. Cleaning up from addiction is not a walk in the park; it requires assistance. Many of those abusing drugs etc. and who are homeless are war veterans. We all need to do our part to help these people help themselves.
Brian October 15, 2011 at 05:33 AM
This article just came up in my feed reader for local news; http://www.suntimes.com/news/7950857-418/homeless-man-accused-in-rape-had-history-of-drifting-arrests.html It is actually one of the better pieces of journalism that I have seen these days. Much better than the average 2bit job most Sun-Times writers are producing Figured I would pass it along for anyone still following this story.

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