Murder charge filed after 93-year-old rape victim dies

2013-07-25T12:50:00Z 2013-08-24T11:57:04Z Murder charge filed after 93-year-old rape victim diesThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 25, 2013 12:50 pm  • 

OMAHA — Douglas County prosecutors charged a man with first-degree murder Thursday after a 93-year-old woman he's accused of beating and raping died from her injuries.

Louise Sollowin died Wednesday, three days after the attack in her home, Omaha police said. An officer sent to the south Omaha house Sollowin had lived in for 71 years found her covered in blood in her bedroom at about 9 a.m. Sunday.

The officer said Sergio Martinez-Perez, 19, was naked and passed out on top of the woman. Authorities believe Martinez-Perez entered the home through an unlocked door.

Martinez-Perez remained in jail Thursday without bond, as prosecutors consider a murder charge. Allyson Mendoza with the Douglas County Public Defender's Office will represent Martinez-Perez. She declined to comment on his case Thursday.

But prosecutors have said Martinez-Perez acknowledged assaulting and raping Sollowin, saying he was "angry with women" after a night of drinking.

The murder charge Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine filed Thursday will be added to the first-degree sexual assault, first-degree assault and burglary charges against Martinez-Perez. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

Kleine said the murder charge applies to this case because Nebraska law allows murder charges when a victim dies as a result of the commission of another felony, such as rape.

Martinez-Perez had been working as a roofer and has no known ties to Omaha, police said. Douglas County jail officials said federal immigration officials have placed an immigration hold on Martinez-Perez, an indication that authorities believe he may be in the country illegally.

Sollowin's daughter, who lived with her mother, heard Sollowin's calls for help and found the man when she went to investigate, Sollowin's granddaughter, Teresa Hartzell, said.

"It was just such a brutal and senseless thing," Hartzell said.

Louise Sollowin grew up in Omaha's Little Italy community, where her family started Orsi's Bakery. Her husband, a World War II veteran, died about 30 years ago, Hartzell said.

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