Blount County maintenance man charged in rape of 72-year-old woman with dementia


Kip David Ferrell (Blount County Jail)

By Carol Robinson | [email protected]

A Blount County apartment complex maintenance worker has been charged in the sexual assault of a 72-year-old mentally incapacitated woman.

Kip David Ferrell, 52, is charged with first-degree rape. He was arrested Jan. 9 and remains in the Blount County Jail on $60,000 bond, according to court records made public Thursday.

Oneonta police on Dec. 22, 2019 were dispatched to the victim’s apartment. She told officers that she heard a knock at the door and allowed the maintenance man into her apartment. She said the two watched television and then he took her by the hand, led her to the bedroom and laid her down on the bed.

The victim said he proceeded to rape her, even though she “expressed to the male her lack of desire to have intercourse with him.”

After the rape, according to charging documents, the man went outside to smoke.

The victim said she went to the bathroom and returned to let the man back in, but said he was gone. “At the time, (the victim) could not remember the male’s name but that he worked as a maintenance man for the apartments within which she resides,’’ the detective wrote. “(The victim) could also recall that the male had the same birthday as her as this was one way he would always start a conversation with her.”

The victim was taken to the St. Vincent’s Blount emergency room and then transported to the United Way Crisis Center to be examined by a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) nurse. The nurse’s written report indicated the presence of abrasions consistent with the act of intercourse. Her clothes and biological evidence were sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Hoover.

Investigators learned from a DHR Adult Protective Services Program case worker that the victim suffers from dementia as well as physical ailments that render her incapable of properly caring for herself. Doctors have deemed she “is a good candidate for a nursing home.”

Police familiar with the apartment complex developed Ferrell as a possible suspect. On Jan. 8, the victim was taken to the police department to meet with detectives to determine if she could pick the suspect out of a photo lineup. She identified Ferrell as the man who had assaulted her.

The following day, detectives brought Ferrell in for questioning. He told them his relationship with the victim was strictly professional. He said he had only been inside her apartment when a work order had been put in, but that there was usually nothing wrong. He told them he believed that she was “off’’ mentally and that “she talks out of her head.”

Ferrell initially denied being in the woman’s apartment on the night of the sexual assault. After noticing a wedding band on his finger, the detective wrote, “I asked Ferrell if this may be the reason as to why he was not being truthful and after a long pause he stated, ‘yes.’’’ He then admitted to having intercourse with the victim, according to the report.

Ferrell said the woman had asked him over to her apartment that night because of problems with her heat. Ferrell claimed she asked him to rub his back and he obliged. “Ferrell stated that (the victim) asked him to have sex and he eventually said yes,’’ the report states. Ferrell said he completed the act quickly.

He is charged with rape because the victim was deemed incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated. Court records do not indicate an attorney for Ferrell to comment on his behalf.

The case is expected to be presented to a grand jury in May.