Teen accused of rape of homeless woman pleads to robbery
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent August 17, 2012 2:58PM
Aarion Teri Lee Mosley, age 16, of 1119 Cass Street, Gary, has been charged by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office with multiple counts of Rape, Robbery, Criminal Deviate Conduct and Criminal Confinement. Mosley has been waived to adult court and is in custody at the Lake County Jail. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 19, 2012 6:08AM
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. imposed an 18-year prison sentence on a Gary teen who admitted he robbed a 68-year-old homeless woman at a Gary train shelter.
Aarion Teri Lee Mosley, 17, admitted he stole the woman’s cell phone and $20 on Aug, 13, 2011, at the South Shore shelter near Lake Street and U.S. 12 in Gary’s Miller section and that he caused bruises on the woman’s buttocks and back and soreness to her body.
Mosley’s age — he was 16 at the time — was a mitigating factor in Stefaniak’s decision to impose less than the maximum 20-year sentence for the charge. Among the aggravating factors were Mosley’s juvenile record and his 14 school suspensions in two years for fighting. Mosley had completed juvenile probation for theft less than five months before he attacked Patricia Watson, who was drinking a cup of McDonald’s coffee at the shelter when Mosley attacked her.
Deputy prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz argued for the maximum sentence in part because of Watson’s age at the time of the alleged rape. Under the law, however, Stefaniak said he couldn’t consider the victim’s age as an aggravating factor because Mosley hadn’t admitted that fact in court documents and because it wasn’t proven.
After Watson was killed in a hit-and-run crash, Jatkiewicz said she was left in a difficult position to attempt to prove Mosley raped the woman and forced her to perform a sex act. The crime was captured on video surveillance.
Watson’s death on Nov. 28 after being struck as she crossed the street in the 3800 block of Broadway in Gary forced the state to offer a plea agreement to robbery, Jatkiewicz said.
Defense attorney Scott King argued for leniency in light of his client’s young age. “He is a 17-year-old child,” King said, adding that everyone in the courtroom had made poor decisions at that age. He also objected to information in Mosley’s pre-sentence investigation report in which the teen told a probation officer he was a gang member and had been using marijuana since age 13.
Mosley told the judge other inmates had jumped him three times in the year he spent in the Lake County Jail. When Stefaniak asked Mosley to describe his thought process before deciding to rob Watson, Mosley said, “I wasn’t really thinking.”
Nine other felony counts were dismissed.