Man convicted of raping elderly woman

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elderly, older

SAN DIEGO — A man who raped and sexually assaulted a 79-year-old woman in her North Park apartment in 2003 was convicted Monday of felony charges.

After deliberating over parts of two days, a jury found Kenneth Tenner, 38, guilty of forcible rape, forcible sexual penetration and attempted forcible oral copulation.

Tenner faces 11 years and three months in prison when he is sentenced April 29.

Deputy District Attorney Dan Owens told jurors that Tenner broke into the victim’s apartment on Texas Street about 6 p.m. on Jan. 4, 2003, and jumped on top of her while she was taking a nap.

“Miss Helen (the victim) does not deserve what happened to her, but she does deserve justice,” Owens said, urging the jury to find Tenner guilty of the attack on the woman, who died in 2007.

After the case went cold, investigators got a DNA hit on sperm collected from the victim’s body, which led to Tenner’s arrest a year ago, the prosecutor said.

“This defendant’s semen showed that it was him,” Owens told the jury. “This defendant committed all of these acts,” which he called “horrible and despicable.”

Defense attorney Andrea Bayer acknowledged that Tenner’s DNA was found on the victim but said there was no way of telling how or when it got there.

Bayer suggested that it was possible — though unusual — that a man in his 20s had a consensual sexual relationship with a 79-year-old woman.