Rapes of elderly women terrify central Texas towns

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YOAKUM, Texas (AP) — A sexual predator accused of attacking elderly women in central Texas has left local communities terrified as investigators struggle to identify a suspect.

Authorities have only a vague description of a man they believe raped or tried to sexually assault eight women beginning last January in towns as far as 200 miles apart.

Pepper spray has been flying off the shelves in Yoakum, where two attacks occurred. In Marquez, a landlord handed out stun guns for Christmas.

The eight victims range in age from 65 to 91, and most were attacked around dawn. One woman was attacked twice, despite moving across town after the first assault.

Authorities say phone lines were cut and porch lights were unscrewed outside some of the victims’ homes. All the victims lived alone.