MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) – A convicted burglar faces 20 to 48 years in prison when he’s sentenced in the 2011 rape and robbery of an 80-year-old woman.
William Harrison, 31, pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, home invasion and armed robbery. The plea came a day before he was scheduled to go on trial. He’s due back in court for sentencing on April 1.
Defense lawyer Michael L. Steinberg says Harrison is remorseful. Steinberg and a Circuit Court judge agreed on the sentence for Harrison.
The woman was attacked Sept. 13, 2011, at the Heritage Estates senior citizens’ complex, at 18 Mile and Hayes roads in Macomb County’s Clinton Township.
Police say Harrison gained entry to the unlocked apartment through a window and awoke the woman who was sleeping in her bed around 11:15 p.m.
Through sobs and tears, the alleged victim testified on the stand during a preliminary exam, saying Harrison told her he needed money for ransom for his daughter who had been kidnapped. The woman, who was not named, said Harrison told her to open the safe in a closet and then locked her in the bathroom while he went through her jewelry, vials of pain medication and personal paperwork.
The woman testified that Harrison then ordered her to her bedroom where he raped her as she yelled for him to take her things and leave.
“He was covering me completely and I had a pillow over my head and I was screaming, but I thought at first I was dreaming,” she said. “But I screamed and he held my hands and told me to stop screaming or he would have to use this [a weapon].”
Harrison wasn’t identified as the suspect until about three weeks after the incident, when Clinton Township police discovered he had pawned some of the woman’s stolen jewelry.
Harrison, who was on probation in two different courts at the time of his arrest, has an extensive prior criminal record, although none of his convictions involved assault.
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