March 8, 2014

Fort Worth sex offender arrested, accused of rape

Court documents allege Kenny Graves forced his way into the 62-year-old woman’s motel room, then sexually assaulted her.

A 35-year-old registered sex offender convicted in 2010 of exposing himself to several women is in jail again, this time accused of raping a 62-year-old woman.

Kenny Fernell Graves was charged Thursday with aggravated sexual assault by threat, court records show.

The alleged rape occurred July 7 at a south Fort Worth motel where the 62-year-old woman had been living.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, the victim had been sitting near a window inside her room with her front door open when she saw a man she later identified in a photo lineup as Graves standing outside her door and masturbating.

The woman told the man to stop it and go somewhere else but he indicated that he wanted her to perform oral sex on him. The victim had told the suspect no and had gotten up to shut her door when the man overpowered her, pushing his way inside and shutting the door, according to the affidavit, written by sex crimes Detectives D.M. Savage.

The man again demanded oral sex from the woman, threatening to have sex with her if she did not.

“The victim told the suspect that she did not want to have sex with him,” the affidavit states. “The suspect told the victim that he had a gun and would kill her if she did not have sex with him.”

The man then pushed the victim on the bed, where he sexually assaulted her. He then ordered her to clean herself up and washed himself before leaving with the washcloth that he had used, the affidavit states.

Graves was linked to the rape Feb. 26 after a DNA profile obtained from the woman’s body was found to match Graves, whose DNA profile police already had on file as part of a murder investigation, the affidavit states.

Cleared in homicide case

Through a search warrant, homicide Detective Ernie Pate had obtained a DNA sample from Graves in October 2012 as part of his investigation into the slaying of 39-year-old Kelly Farmer.

Farmer, who police have described as a known prostitute, was found dead in an alley off the 2900 block of East Lancaster Avenue on the morning of March 3, 2012. She had been intentionally run over, police said.

A DNA profile obtained from the woman’s mouth was later linked to Graves through the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), prompting Pate to obtain the search warrant for a cheek swab of Graves’ mouth so that confirmation tests could be performed.

Homicide Sgt. Joe Loughman said Friday, however, that Graves was ultimately ruled out as a suspect in Farmer’s slaying.

In April, police arrested another man in connection with the slaying — Rusty Allen Tyler of Waxahachie. Court documents indicated Tyler was linked to the crime through DNA evidence and a hubcap found at the crime scene.

Tyler remains in the Tarrant County Jail awaiting trial in the murder case, court records show.

In trouble before

Graves was arrested Feb. 28 in connection with the sexual assault case. He was transferred Friday from the Mansfield jail to the Tarrant County Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $250,000.

Brian Goza, Graves’s court-appointed attorney, declined to comment Friday.

Graves had been identified in the 2010 exposure cases after a 50-year-old woman, while praying and getting ready for church, spotted a man masturbating while sitting on a curb across from her home.

The woman grabbed her video camera and began taping the man. She gave police the tape to help identify the man, who had fled before officers arrived, telling officers that she suspected he was the same man who had been trying to peep into other neighborhood homes.

Rholand Sabo, the area’s neighborhood patrol officer, began asking questions and ultimately learned of at least three other incidents in the Willow Creek neighborhood where a similarly described man had been seen masturbating in public.

Sabo later spotted a similar-looking man in the neighborhood and identified the man as Graves.

Graves was sentenced to 120 days in jail in the four cases and was also required to register as a sex offender.

It is not the first time, however, that he’s been accused of sexual assault.

Tarrant County court records show Graves was charged in September with sexually assaulting a 32-year-old woman. That case, however, was later no-billed by a Tarrant County grand jury.

“Our office conducted a thorough investigation of this case, which included attempting to meet with the victim,” Melody McDonald, a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, explained Friday. “She did not want to pursue the case, failed to appear and later signed an affidavit of non-prosecution.”

Deanna Boyd, 817-390-7655

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