A retired 85-year-old nun who is a well-known "advocate of peace" was left speechless after an 18-year-old youth battered and raped her in a church parking lot in broad daylight under a statue of the Virgin Mary in Aliquippa, Pa., last Friday.
"The first thing you notice when you look up, up where this horrific act occurred, is the statue of the Virgin Mary looking down," Assistant Chief Dan Couch noted in a CBS report on the incident.
The Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden described the nun who had her vow of chastity so viciously violated as "a passionate advocate of nonviolence, peace and justice, and each month she conducts a prayer vigil for peace in the chapel of our Motherhouse," according to a report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The teen charged with her rape was identified as Andrew Bullock, 18, of Aliquippa. He was arraigned last Friday on charges of felony rape, aggravated assault and sexual assault, and misdemeanor charges of indecent exposure, simple assault and reckless endangerment, according to court documents.
The incident took place in the parking lot of St. Titus Church in Aliquippa at about 11:30 a.m. on Friday.
According to the police report, the nun was walking in the church parking lot just before 11:30 a.m. when she was approached from behind by a man, later alleged to be Bullock, who asked her if she needed help. The nun told the man no and thanked him, but he responded by telling the woman of the cloth to look down at his genitals.
She attempted to walk away but the man grabbed her by the neck and started choking her to the ground while punching her head and face. He then raped her.
When police arrived on the scene the nun was speechless due to a dislocated jaw but she was able to write down what happened for police.
She was treated at the Allegheny General Hospital where she received surgery and was expected to have been released on the weekend.
Bullock was tracked down by police via a boot print left in the snow in the church parking lot. He was also identified as a suspect through clothing. Police say Bullock denied being near the church in initial questioning, but later admitted he was near the scene and that he attacked the victim.
Bullock is currently locked up in Beaver County Prison on $50,000 bond and is expected to appear at a preliminary hearing before District Judge James DiBenedetto on Thursday.
"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 in the Pittsburgh report. "As we offer continued prayers of healing for our Sister, we also pray for the young man who has been arrested in the assault."