A 58-year-old man has been arrested after a violent sexual assault of an elderly woman in a downtown parking lot, Palo Alto police said Wednesday.
The woman, who is in her 70s, called police dispatchers on Friday, April 9, at about 9:18 p.m. to report that a man had been harassing her on an ongoing basis at Cogswell Plaza, located at 264 Lytton Ave. in downtown, according to a press release. The man wasn't present at the time, but officers responded and interviewed the woman, who lives in the downtown area with all of her belongings.
The woman told police that on Monday, April 5, at about 10 p.m., she was sleeping in City Parking Lot "C" at 451 Ramona St., adjacent to Cogswell Plaza. She was awakened by the man, whom she knew from previous interactions on the street. The man demanded sexual intercourse from her. When she refused, he punched her, kicked her and held her down while he sexually assaulted her, according to police.
He fled on foot when a car drove into the parking lot, the release states. She told the officers she had pain as a result of the suspect kicking her but no other injuries, police said.
Officers were conducting a follow-up investigation with the woman in the 400 block of Ramona Street on Saturday, April 10, at about 8:45 a.m. when they located the man walking down the street and arrested him without incident, police said.
Police booked 58-year-old Anthony Ray Drayton of East Palo Alto into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for alleged assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration, elder abuse, false imprisonment and criminal threats, all of which are felonies. Drayton was already on community supervision out of San Mateo County for a prior conviction of felony assault on a police officer, according to the release. Police have also placed him on a probation hold.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has confirmed he has been charged with four felonies: sexual penetration by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of bodily injury; assault with intent to commit rape; abuse of an elder adult under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm and threats to commit a crime resulting in death or great bodily injury.
Drayton is also charged in a separate case from October 28, 2020 with misdemeanor sexual battery, the DA's Office said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.