Crime

Jury to resume deliberating sentence for health worker found guilty of sexual assault

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.
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Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.

Jurors will resume deliberation Thursday to decide the sentence for a health care worker found guilty of sexually assaulting a disabled elderly woman.

Prosecutors have asked the jury for a life sentence.

Wednesday afternoon, it took jurors less than two hours to render a guilty verdict for Anthony Mamboleo Nyakeo, 53, of Fort Worth. Nyakeo was a nursing home employee who provided health care services to the victim he was convicted of sexually assaulting.

During the punishment phase of the trial, one of Nyakeo’s former coworkers testified that he pinched her pants and told her that if they were in his old country he would rip her panties off. On another occasion Nyakeo took her hand and placed it on his erection and told her that is what she did to him.

The punishment phase started immediately after Nyakeo’s guilty verdict was decided on Wednesday afternoon.

A Tarrant County prosecutor said a man convicted of sexually assaulting a helpless woman who could not speak and was bedridden should spend the rest of his life in prison..

The 75-year-old victim died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, months after the assaults.

“You don’t feel sorry for him,” said Jordan Rolfe, Tarrant County prosecutor. “He’s not the victim. “

The woman he raped is the victim, Rolfe said.

“The scary part about this is we would not have known except for his DNA,” Rolfe said. “He showed you who he is; believe him. It’s a pattern of behavior. Send a message to anyone else who might be thinking that this person’s non-verbal, it’s OK.

Clay Graham, who represented Nyakeo in this case, asked the jury for mercy.

“He has never been convicted or arrested before this,” Graham said. “He is not a habitual offender.”

Nyakeo faces a maximum sentence of 99 years in prison.

Nyakeo testified Tuesday that he loved being a certified nurse assistant at Woodridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Grapevine. Nyakeo, who came to America from Kenya in 2009, testified that he became an American citizen in 2015.

Nyakeo described the victim as a total care patient.

“You had to do everything for her,” Nyakeo said. “You had to feed her, get her out of bed, bathe her, dress them, clean them, change their diapers. They got incontinent care every two hours.”

According to the indictment, the victim did not have the capacity to refuse the advances of the accused. The victim was being cared for at Woodridge when the assaults were initially reported, said Alyssa Osorio, one of the nurses who cared for the victim.

The assaults began on or about Jan. 26, 2018, the two-count indictment says.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for examination after showing signs of bleeding, Osario said.

Michael Templin, the victim’s nephew, testified that he went to see her while she was being examined, and saw that she was petrified. Her chin quivered when she was frightened, Templin said while waving his hand in a fan-like motion. Templin said on one level, he was angry.

“You have a lot of emotions, anger, sadness, but more importantly, you just need to make sure that she was all right,” Templin said.

Violet Gorman, a nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital who specializes in sexual assault examinations, testified that the victim suffered from significant injuries. The victim had tears and cuts in various places on her genital area, Gorman testified.

“The question is are you going to believe the facts and evidence or are you going to believe a made-up story?” Darren De La Cruz, Tarrant County prosecutor, asked during his closing statements. “That was a completely garbage story.”

De La Cruz was referring to Nyakeo’s testimony Tuesday that someone retrieved his semen from a used condom and planted his DNA inside the victim.

Two other suspects were identified during the investigation, then excluded by the analysis of DNA evidence, Grapevine Det. Christina O’Rear testified. Some of the samples collected at John Peter Smith Hospital were found to contain DNA and semen, and those were sent to the University of North Texas Human Identification Center for analysis, O’Rear said.

Three men had given care to the victim during the time period in question and that group of men, which included Nyakeo, were identified as suspects in the case, O’Rear said.

Some of the DNA samples collected had more than one contributor, according to Farah Plopper, a forensic analyst at the UNT Center for Human Identification. But by comparing the DNA samples that contained semen, the laboratory was able to exclude the other two suspects, Plopper said.

Nyakeo’s DNA was the only sample that could not be excluded, Plopper said.

“It’s hard to listen to,” Rolfe told the jury. “But you have the power to end it.”

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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