Dennis Dodson / photo from Cook County Sheriff's office
Updated: May 17, 2013 6:45AM
A homeless southwest suburban man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting an elderly woman who had helped him find food and shelter.
Dennis Dodson, 36, pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault for the September 2011 attack in a vacant lot behind a Home Depot store in Orland Park, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Dodson, who was living in the lot at the time of the attack, was sentenced to 30 years in prison by Judge John Hynes at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview, according to prosecutors.
On Sept. 22, 2011, the 83-year-old woman was walking home on a path behind the Home Depot when she met Dodson, and gave him $5, prosecutors said.
The victim then collected a few items, including crackers and went back to the lot, where she gave the items to Dodson, along with another $10, prosecutors said. She called local shelters, including her church, to find him shelter, but she was instructed to call Orland Park police..
The next day she called police, then returned to the lot, where she found Dodson lying on the ground with several beer cans, according to prosecutors.
When she told him she had called police, Dodson became agitated, grabbed her by the shoulders and shoved her to the ground, prosecutors said. He began kissing her, put a hand over her mouth when she screamed and sexually assaulted her.
He then rode away on his bicycle.