Man Accused Of Brutally Raping, Beating Elderly Woman In Gravette

GRAVETTE (KFSM) -- A man is in jail facing several felony charges in connection with the rape and brutal beating of a 69-year-old woman.

Charles Alan Rickman, 30, is facing charges of felony rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated residential burglary, terroristic threatening, and misdemeanor theft of property, interference with emergency communication and tampering with physical evidence.

Rickman is accused of brutally raping and beating the woman for an extended period of time. Investigators do not think this crime was a random act and wouldn't comment about whether she was beaten with a weapon.

The woman is in critical condition atĀ Ozarks Community Hospital.

At 7:41 a.m. Tuesday (Oct. 3) deputies with the Benton County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to that hospital to take a report about an assault that happened on Strawberry Ridge Road shortly before. Authorities say they waited to share this information with the public until they could develop additional leads.

The Sheriff's Office offers several tips to seniors to curtail this from happening to them. They said they recommend not answering doors for strangers, don't become a victim of money laundering schemes, have relationships with neighbors and be in contact with them, and ask for help when needed.

Rickman was being held Monday (Oct. 9) at the Benton County Jail on a $253,000 bond. He has a hearing set for Nov. 13 in Benton County Circuit Court.

This matter continues to be investigated.