Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Jury selection began Wednesday for the trial of a man accused of breaking into a home and sexually assaulting a 71-year-old husband and his 69-year-old wife within days of being placed on probation for accosting a teenage girl.

Thomas Dean Mabe, 45, is charged with two counts each of assault with intent to commit rape and elder abuse, as well as sexual battery, oral copulation of a sleeping victim and burglary.

Prosecutors allege Mabe broke into the couple’s second home in Palm Springs sometime after 3 a.m. on April 21, 2016, slipped into their bed while they slept and sexually assaulted both the 71-year-old husband and 69-year-old wife, identified as John and Jane Doe in court documents.

After the couple awoke to find Mabe in their bed, he allegedly told them that the male victim had sent him a key through the mail, according to a prosecutor’s trial brief. Police later found that one of the home’s picture windows near the front door was ajar, the brief states.

While the wife called 911, Mabe grabbed her by the shoulders, but was punched by the husband, the brief alleges.

Mabe remained at the house until police arrived and arrested him.

A subsequent police search of the property turned up a pair of scissors, men’s Calvin Klein underwear and two long red curtain panels on an outside patio table, none of which belonged to the victims.

The break-in occurred just days after Mabe was released on probation for trying to grab a 16-year-old girl as she was walking in the 1600 block of San Lorenzo Road. The girl alleged that Mabe approached her and apparently tried to engage her in conversation and then moved aggressively toward her in an attempt to grab her. She was not physically harmed and Mabe was located less than an hour later in the 500 block of Sunrise Way.

Court records show he was placed on three years probation on March 19.

On Tuesday, Mabe agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of failing to register as a sex offender in connection with that incident.

— City News Service

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