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story.lead_photo.caption NWA Democrat-Gazette/TRACY M. NEAL Charles Rickman, 31, is taken from Benton County court Tuesday after the first day of his jury trial ends in Bentonville. Rickman is accused of kidnapping and raping a 69-year-old woman.

BENTONVILLE -- Attorneys for a Siloam Springs man haven't contested evidence he kidnapped, beat and raped a 69-year-old woman whose injuries were so severe parts of her arms and legs had to be amputated.

However, they plan to present evidence methamphetamine and alcohol use played a role in the crime.

Possible sentences

Charles Alan Rickman, 31, of Siloam Springs could receive four sentences ranging from 10 to 40 years or life in prison if he’s convicted of aggravated residential burglary, kidnapping and two counts of rape. He will be sentenced to five to 20 years if convicted of battery.

Source: Staff report

Charles Alan Rickman, 31, of Siloam Springs is charged with aggravated residential burglary, kidnapping, two counts of rape and battery. His jury trial began Tuesday in Benton County Circuit Court.

Rickman, who is being held on $250,000 bond in the Benton County Jail, previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"What he did in the dark he never thought would come to the light," Carrie Dobbs, deputy prosecutor, told jurors in her opening statements.

Dobbs said Rickman, who did some work at the woman's house, forced his way into her home during the early morning of Oct. 3. He's accused of tying up the woman and repeatedly beating and raping her for five hours.

Rickman put the woman in the bathtub and washed her bloody body, Dobbs told the jurors, then took her back to bed and raped her again. He left her in the bloody bed, Dobbs said.

"He almost took her life, but he did take her arms and legs," Dobbs said.

Dobbs said the woman will be her last witness to take the stand.

"She will come into this room bearing the scars of what this defendant did in the dark," Dobbs said.

Chris Berry, a Benton County Sheriff's Office deputy, testified when he spoke with the woman at the hospital she said a man came to her home claiming to have car trouble.

She gave him her cellphone through the opened door, and after returning the phone the man forced his way into her home and attacked her, Berry said.

Prosecution witnesses described the extent of the woman's injuries.

"Her face was almost burgundy from the bruising," Wilma Fladager said.

Fladager volunteers with the woman at Care and Share Inc. in Gravette. She became concerned after the woman, who she described as a gentle and kind person, didn't show up for work.

Another volunteer called the woman, who told her she had been attacked and raped, Fladager said.

Fladager said the woman didn't want them to call the police. She and two other volunteers took her to the hospital.

Fladager said the woman's hair was covering her face, and she didn't notice her facial injuries until they got to the hospital.

Fladager helped the nurses undress the woman and saw the woman's body was covered in bruises with small cuts. She said the woman's clothing and underwear were saturated with blood.

Ann Hampton, a sexual assault nurse examiner, testified she went into a hospital room and saw an elderly woman covered with deep purple bruises all over her body. Hampton said she noticed other medical personnel were averting their eyes from the woman, but Hampton said she wanted to make eye contact to assure her she could recover from the attack.

Hampton said the woman told her a man blindfolded her and beat her with a cord or wire and raped her for hours, Hampton said. The man also wrapped a cord around her neck, she said.

Hampton described how the woman's face and body were covered in bruises as jurors saw photographs of the woman.

Hampton said the woman's injuries matched her description of the beating and rape.

Jurors didn't display any emotion as they looked at each photograph.

Rickman sat across the room at a table with his attorneys. He looked at the floor throughout Hampton's testimony. He didn't look at a nearby screen when the photographs of the woman's injuries were displayed. He did look when Sgt. Hunter Petray with the Benton County Sheriff's Office showed the crime scene.

The photographs included a large bloody towel and sheet that detectives found in the washing machine.

Petray testified detectives connected Rickman to the attack after learning he worked on the woman's house with Eric Burchette, a registered sex offender. The woman said she knew Burchette's voice and he wasn't her attacker, Petray said.

Deputies took Rickman to the Benton County Jail, where Petray photographed scratches and bruises on Rickman's body. Petray pointed out the injuries as jurors looked at several photographs.

Other evidence included a DVD player found in Rickman's vehicle matching one missing from the woman's house and surveillance video showing Rickman near the woman's house about the time of the attack.

Rickman's attorneys didn't question any of the prosecution witnesses.

Testimony resumes this morning.

Circuit Judge Brad Karren warned jurors not to discuss the case with anyone or post anything on social media about the trial.

NW News on 07/11/2018

Print Headline: Man accused of raping 69-year-old standing trial

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