An 83-year-old woman gave food and money to Dennis Dodson and reached out to the Salvation Army and her church to find him help, but was instead attacked and raped behind a southwest suburban store last week after he became upset she called police, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors on Monday said the woman met Dennis D. Dodson Jr. on Sept. 22, a day before the attack in a field behind the Home Depot at 7300 W. 159th St. in Orland Park. She had given him money and food and sought help to find him a place to stay.
Instead, Dodson, 34, became agitated when the woman told him she had called police. That’s when he began touching and kissing her, and later, threw her to the ground and raped her, prosecutors said.
Dodson is charged with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class X felony, according to a release from Orland Park Police.
On Monday, Dodson was ordered held on $1.5 million bond and a preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 14, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton said.
The woman first encountered the man as she walked home from a nearby bank. She cut behind the Home Depot as a shortcut. She gave Dodson $5 and went home.
She later returned and brought him $10 and some crackers. Later that evening, she reached out to both her church and the Salvation Army to find him a place to stay. Both told her to call police for a well-being check, court records said.
The woman returned on Friday, Sept. 23 to tell Dodson police would come to check on him. The woman noticed Dodson lying on the ground with beer cans around him. He became agitated that she called police and grabbed her by the shoulders. He then began kissing her and tried to force his tongue down her throat, court records said.
He threw her to the ground in a nearby area and sexually assaulted her. He put his hand over her mouth during the rape as she screamed, then rode away on a bicycle, prosecutors said.
The woman crawled through a fence to her home and called police. She suffered injuries, which included bruises and scrapes to her back, as well as internal injuries.
The woman was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest for treatment, police said.
Several agencies joined in the search for Dodson, including the Cook County Sheriff’s Canine Unit, Air Unit and Forest Preserve District; as well as Tinley Park, Oak Forest and Orland Hills police.
Tinley Park police located Dodson about 9:45 p.m. Friday at 170th and Harlem, the release said. Dodson, who has no known home address, was turned over to Orland Park police, and charged.