88-year-old woman scares would-be rapist off with HIV lie

PARKSBURG, PA (AP/WCMH) — An 88-year-old Pennsylvania woman says she talked an attacker out of raping her by lying to him that she was HIV-positive.

Helen Reynolds tells WPVI-TV the man forced his way into her Parkesburg apartment on the afternoon of Feb. 17. He rifled through her purse and took $40. He also bound Reynolds by duct taping her hands and mouth. She said he was preparing to sexually assault her.

Reynolds told WPVI that she tried to kick him in the groin as she fought back. However, what happened next was what stopped the would-be rapist.

“That’s when I told him that I had HIV and my husband died from it, which is a lie,” Reynolds said.

No arrests have been made.

The robbery is unrelated to another attack in Chester County last month.

In that case, a 72-year-old woman was bound and locked inside a closet, where she wasn’t discovered for four days.

A 17-year-old boy is charged.

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