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Chicago Man Convicted Of Raping 74-Year-Old Elgin Woman

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Rodney L. McGowan was convicted of raping a 74-year-old Elgin woman. (Kane Co. State's Attorney)

Rodney L. McGowan was convicted of raping a 74-year-old Elgin woman. (Kane Co. State’s Attorney)

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ST. CHARLES TWP., Ill. (STMW) — A Chicago man is facing between 60 and 120 years in prison for the home invasion, rape and beating of a 74-year-old Elgin woman after a jury found him guilty Friday on all counts in the case.

Jurors deliberated for just 90 minutes before finding Rodney L. McGowan, 42, guilty of the charges that included Class X counts of home invasion and aggravated criminal sexual assault as well as a charge of aggravated battery to a senior citizen.

A Class X felony carries a mandatory prison sentence of up to 60 years, and Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney Joseph Cullen said he will ask Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon to impose sentences to run consecutively — creating the possibility of a 120-year sentence for McGowan.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 25.

According to prosecutors, McGowan entered the woman’s Fleetwood Drive apartment through an unlocked window at about midnight on April 24, 2010. She woke up to McGowan “pummeling” her in the face, said Assistant State’s Attorney Reagan McGuire during her closing statement to the jury today.

The victim testified that she couldn’t identify her attacker because of the blows to her face and eye.

McGowan broke her eye socket in three places and her cheekbone, prosecutors said.

During the attack, she thought “I was going to die, that this guy is going to kill me,” she said on the stand.

When the victim told the man that she’d give him money to stop, he said “Oh, money,” got up and walked out, she testified.

Although the victim told a 911 dispatcher that her assailant “punched her in the vagina,” the rape case was built largely on circumstantial evidence, Cullen said.

“She was not sure that she was sexually assaulted,” Cullen said after the verdict. The victim refused a pelvic examination in the emergency room following her assault.

However, police found a condom wrapper with McGowan’s fingerprint on it and a used condom with his DNA inside of it — and what was likely the victim’s DNA outside of it — in the victim’s apartment, and that proved the case, Cullen said.

Police tracked down McGowan after viewing security camera footage for the woman’s senior living complex on Fleetwood Drive and tape from nearby buildings that prosecutors said show him leaving the victim’s building that night.

According to officials, McGowan previously spent 20 years of a 26-year sentence in prison on robbery and kidnapping charges in Arkansas and was released in 2006.

 (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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