Man charged with rape of 89-year-old Smithville woman - KCTV5 News

Man charged with rape of 89-year-old Smithville woman

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Michael E. Whitford, who is currently incarcerated, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and four counts of armed criminal action. (Missouri Department of Corrections) Michael E. Whitford, who is currently incarcerated, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and four counts of armed criminal action. (Missouri Department of Corrections)
CLAY COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -

A 57-year-old felon has been changed in the sexual assault of an elderly Smithville woman.

Michael E. Whitford, who is currently incarcerated, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and four counts of armed criminal action. He is being held at the Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center. His bond has been set at $500,000.

Whitford has multiple prior felony convictions including assault, robbery and felonious restraint and tampering with a victim or witness. His convictions are from the mid-Missouri area. Because of prior felony convictions, Whitford faces multiple life sentences if convicted.

Clay County Prosecutor Daniel White credited the “tenacious effort” of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department in resolving the case.

“They were quick to assess the situation and secure the location, and because of their efforts critical biological evidence was gathered that led to today’s charges,” he said. “They worked the case hard over the past eight months.”

According to court documents, a safety service got an alarm about 10 a.m. on May 12, 2017, from the victim’s residence. They called back and, when they got no answer, they notified authorities. Deputies also were told by the victim’s family of the attack which had occurred moments earlier.

The victim told the deputies her assailant was a man she didn’t know, had entered her residence without permission, was armed with a knife, and told her he was there for sex and to rob her, court records state. He also threatened her life if she notified police.

“The woman, who was 89 at the time of this attack, suffered the horror and humiliation of being raped, robbed and sodomized in her own home,” White said.

White added the woman just recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Clay County deputies, Smithville officers and Kansas City Police Department Crime Scene officers scoured the property for evidence.

“Biological evidence was recovered, and testing led to the defendant,” White said.

Sheriff Paul Vescovo said that the investigation combined the efforts of his department, the Clay County Investigative Squad, along with Smithville, Liberty, Kearney, Excelsior Springs, Gladstone, North Kansas City and KCPD led to today’s charges.

“We all pulled together in an effort to bring this woman the justice she deserves,” said the sheriff.

The defendant will be required to answer charges in Clay County Circuit Court, said White.

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