Chicago Man Gets 120 Years For Raping Elderly Woman

UPDATED 08/26/11 8:34 a.m.

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (CBS) — A Chicago man has been sentenced to 120 years in prison, after being convicted of breaking into the home of a 74-year-old woman in Elgin and raping her.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports, it took a jury about 90 minutes on June 3 to convict Rodney L. McGowan. He was convicted of one charge of home invasion and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, all Class X felonies, and one count of aggravated battery to a senior citizen, a class 2 felony, according to a statement from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports

In addition, the jury found that those crimes were accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior amounting to wanton cruelty.

A Kane County judge imposed the maximum sentence for the crimes, saying it was the intention of the court for McGowan never to be a free man again.

“Not only was this a particularly brutal and unnerving crime, Mr. McGowan’s actions were despicable and cowardly,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said in the statement.

Shortly after midnight April 24, 2010, McGowan climbed through the victim’s apartment bedroom window in the 1000 block of Fleetwood Drive in Elgin, the statement said. McGowan then punched and beat the victim before sexually assaulting the woman and escaping through the apartment door.

Police found McGowan by watching and comparing surveillance video in the area in which McGowan was seen leaving the apartment after the assault and later entering a nearby apartment building where his girlfriend lived, the statement said. DNA evidence taken from a condom found in the apartment matched McGowan’s DNA, and authorities said fingerprints taken from the victim’s apartment and from the condom wrapper were left by McGowan .

The victim, who testified in the trial, suffered fractures to her cheek and orbital bones and bruises to her chest. She is still recovering from the assault and has since moved out of the Chicago area, according to the statement.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, prosecutors presented evidence of McGowan’s criminal past including a prison stint in Arkansas for burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, the statement said. The judge also read a letter written by the victim in which she said she is scared of everything, has trouble walking, has constant pain in her face and has trouble eating and drinking.

She was not at the sentencing hearing.

The sentence breaks down to 60 years for home invasion and 60 years for aggravated criminal sexual assault. McGowan had been held in Kane County jail on $900,000 bail, but bond was revoked upon conviction, according to the statement.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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