A Palm Springs man was behind bars Tuesday for allegedly breaking into his 65-year-old neighbor’s apartment, physically and sexually assaulting the woman, then fleeing in the victim’s SUV, police reported.
Demitri Giles, 45,was booked at the Smith Correction Facility in Banning on suspicion of assault with intent to rape in commission of a burglary, sexual penetration with force, elder abuse, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, home invasion robbery, possessing a stolen vehicle and taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, with bail set at $1 million, jail records show.
Giles is accused of manipulating his way into his neighbor’s apartment in the 300 block of East Stevens Road around 9 a.m. Monday by saying he had some of her mail, according to Palm Springs police Sgt. Mike Casavan said. He allegedly bound the victim before sexually assaulting her, and stole a cell phone along with her 2007 Honda CR-V.
Police were alerted to the attack just before 5 p.m. It’s unclear whether the victim, whose name was withheld, was able to free herself or was found by someone who notified police.
Police recovered a hammer at the scene, and believe it was used in the attack on the woman, who was hospitalized with unspecified injuries that police described as serious.
About three hours after the Palm Springs Police Department alerted law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the victim’s Honda, Riverside police and sheriff’s deputies from an auto theft detail located the vehicle in Riverside. Giles was found near the vehicle and taken into custody, police said.
Giles does not have a criminal history, Casavan said.
He is expected in court on Thursday.