McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

April 12, 2013

Hartshorne man accused of sexually assaulting 80-year-old woman

McALESTER — A Hartshorne man is accused of sexually assaulting an 80-year-old woman at a McAlester nursing home.

Darren Zearley, 47, was charged Thursday in Pittsburg County District Court with one felony count of sexual battery.

According to court records, Zearley was visiting a local nursing home on Wednesday when he allegedly went into the 80-year-old woman’s room and inappropriately touched her. A police affidavit indicates the alleged victim suffers from “severe dementia.”

An employee of the nursing home told police she entered the 80-year-old’s room and found her standing sideways between the knees of Zearley, who was sitting on the woman’s bed, the affidavit states. The employee told police Zearley had his hands up the alleged victim’s shirt, the affidavit states.

Zearley was arrested and transported to the Pittsburg County jail, where he remains in custody in lieu of a $50,000 bond. He was unavailable for comment at presstime.

If convicted, he is facing up to 10 years in prison. He is due back in court April 19 at 9 a.m.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

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