Bond set at $1 million for suspect in rape of 82-year-old woman


by Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 13 at 6:17 PM

HOUSTON – A Houston man is accused of raping an 82-year-old woman he occasionally did yard work for.

A judge on Wednesday set bond for Nathaniel Rowe at $1 million. He’s charged with aggravated sexual assault.

According to court documents, the victim was raped in the early morning hours of March 21, 2011.

The victim told investigators she heard a noise, so she went into her hallway to investigate.

She said the suspect, who’d apparently broken into her home through a window, started hitting her and pushed her to the ground.

The victim said he sexually assaulted her on the floor of her hall, and then asked her for money.

When she said she didn’t have any, the suspect rummaged through her things, grabbed a few Texas Lotto scratch-off tickets and fled on foot.

The victim told police her attacker may have been a man who occasionally did yard work for her. She knew him only as "Nathaniel."

Later that same day, police found Rowe about a block from the victim’s home while they were canvassing the area for witnesses.

They took him into custody on an outstanding warrant, and they asked him for a DNA sample.

Rowe agreed to give them one, but he denied ever attacking the victim.

Police said Rowe’s DNA sample matched evidence taken from the scene.

Charges were filed on July 1.

Neighbors said Rowe lived in the area, too. They were shocked by the allegations.

"Just couldn’t believe it … We talk about it at the barber shop – he’s not that type of guy, we didn’t think," neighbor Oscar Johnson said. "So hopefully, it’s not true. But you never know."

Neighbors also said the elderly victim has since gone to California, where her family is caring for her.