Convicted Rapist Accused Of Striking Woman, Stealing Car
A Watertown man, who was on parole for rape, faces new charges after he allegedly assaulted a woman in May and stole her car.
According to Watertown Police Detective Stephen Backus, 36 year old Richard Lennox approached a woman in the Stone Street public parking lot on May 25 during the noon hour.
The woman, in her early 20s, had been returning to her car after a lunch break when Lennox attacked, Backus said.
Backus said Lennox forced the woman into her car, struck her and drove her 2010 Ford sedan to the other side of the parking lot.
The detective said other people approached the parking lot and the woman was able to flee the car.
Lennox fled on foot toward Arsenal Street, Backus said.
According to the state's Sex Offender Registry, Lennox is a Level 2 sexually violent offender who raped a 26 year old woman in Onondaga County.
No weapon was used in the 2001 assault.
Records say he immediately and physically overpowered the victim.
Records show he did not know the victim.
He was convicted on September 12, 2001 on a charge of first-degree rape and sentenced to 10 years in Sing Sing Prison in Ossining.
He was paroled on August 19, 2011.
He was serving five years post-release supervision.
According to Backus, Lennox moved to Jefferson County because he has family here.
Backus said Lennox got married shortly before he allegedly attacked the woman in Watertown.
The detective said Lennox gave a reason for the assault, but he declined to disclose it.
"Obviously, he didn't commit the crime of rape. There wasn't any accusation and in this case there wasn't anything sexual, but people can assume that might have been something he planned to do, but didn't head down that path, but could have obviously. It was a violent crime either way against a female victim," said Backus.
The detective said there's no evidence Lennox knew or was stalking the woman.
Lennox was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and second-degree unlawful imprisonment.
He was arraigned and ordered held in the county jail in lieu of $20,000 bail or $40,000 bond.
Backus said police were able to make an arrest based on evidence processed by the State Police laboratory in Albany.
He declined to comment on what specific evidence was collected.
Backus also said the alleged victim was able to identify Lennox as her attacker.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013, Watertown, NY
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