Dec 16, 2013

Black male charged in rape, beating of 85 year-old nun


A nun who police in Beaver County said was raped and beaten so badly that her jaw was dislocated and she was unable to speak to police at the scene was expected to be released soon from the hospital.

The Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden called the 85-year-old retired nun “a passionate advocate of nonviolence, peace and justice, and each month she conducts a prayer vigil for peace in the chapel of our Motherhouse.”

Andrew Bullock, 18, of Aliquippa was arraigned Friday night on charges that he raped and beat the nun in the parking lot of St. Titus Church in Aliquippa around 11:30 a.m. Friday, according to court documents and Aliquippa police.

Mr. Bullock has been charged with felony rape, aggravated assault and sexual assault, and misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure, simple assault and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.

He remained in the Beaver County Prison Saturday night on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Thursday before District Judge James DiBenedetto.

Police said he has admitted to attacking the victim.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does not identify victims of alleged sexual assaults.

“The Sisters of St. Joseph are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the assault of one of our Sisters,” a statement from the Sisters of St. Joseph said. “As we offer continued prayers of healing for our Sister, we also pray for the young man who has been arrested in the assault.”

Just before 11:30 a.m., the nun was walking in the church parking lot when she was approached from behind by a man who asked her if she needed help, she told police. She told him she didn’t and thanked him, at which point he told her to look down at his exposed genitals.

She turned to walk away and he grabbed her neck and started choking her to the ground, punching her head and face, according to police, and sexually assaulted her. When police arrived, she was unable to speak due to her injuries but wrote on a piece of paper that she had been raped, according to police.

The nun was taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where she underwent surgery for a dislocated lower jaw. She was able to speak to detectives before she went into surgery. The Sisters of St. Joseph said Saturday morning that she was expected to be released from the hospital over the weekend.

Police tracked down Mr. Bullock as someone who had been spotted in previous days wearing clothing that matched the description — a black-hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and work boots.

Investigators found that the tread pattern, size and width of his boots were similar to a footprint left in the snow in the church parking lot. Mr. Bullock at first denied being near the scene of the attack but admitted it under further questioning, police said.

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