DAYTON, OH (WHIO) – On Thursday, Montgomery County prosecutors recounted details of a now 93-year-old woman’s alleged rape on a Dayton bike path in 2013.
“He led her off the bike path, he pushed her down, took off her pants, took off her underwear and raped her,” Assistant Prosecutor Cynthia Ellison said at the opening of the rape trial.
John Paul Mpawurna, who was 26 at the time of the alleged attack, is on trial for raping the woman. His attorney requested a bench trial, meaning a jury will not hear the case.
Instead, the judge will decide Mpawurna’s innocence or guilt after hearing testimony from all sides.
The woman told police shortly after the alleged assault that she was dragged by a young man from the bike path near Radio Road to a nearby commercial building where she was pushed to the ground and raped. Police said she walked home and told her son about the attack. She was treated at a local hospital and a rape exam was performed.
The prosecutor say the victim’s efforts to fight the suspect off were a physical mismatch.
“She’s frail, she walked with a cane then,” Ellison said.
Although the woman said she could not remember some details of the alleged attack because she was frightened and screaming, police said DNA evidence led them to arrest Mpawurna, a native of Congo.
Mpawurna, doesn’t understand English, was in court, and a translator interpreted the proceedings for him.
The woman’s children, who asked not to be identified, were in court as well. They described the heart-breaking calls and conversations after their mother told them she had been raped.
“She said she’d been for a walk on the bike path and been raped,” the victim’s son said.
Her daughter added, sobbing: “And she was quiet, and she says ‘Sue, I need you,’ didn’t say anything else, just ‘I need you to come over.’”