Police: Convicted rapist arrested in rape of elderly East Nashville woman

Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police have arrested a man accused of breaking into an elderly East Nashville woman’s home early Thursday and raping her.

Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department
Photo: Metro Nashville Police Department

It happened just after 9 a.m. in the area near Trinity Lane and Jones Avenue.

According to a release from Metro police, the man, now identified as William McElrath Jr., knocked on the woman’s door and asked her if she wanted her yard mowed.

The 78-year-old woman told him no. The victim let McElrath into her home briefly for a drink before she asked him to leave.

The woman then left to walk her two grandchildren to school.

While the victim was away from the home, McElrath allegedly broke into her home through a rear window.

Upon her return, McElrath attacked and raped her before fleeing through a back door when someone knocked at the home’s front door.

Police were immediately called and the woman was taken to General Hospital by ambulance.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN

A short time after the attack, police saw McElrath, who generally matched the suspect’s description, walking along Trinity Lane.

McElrath was stopped by police, but officers did not have enough evidence to arrest him at the time and he was released.

The victim later positively identified McElrath from a photo lineup and he was taken into custody at a family member’s home on 16th Avenue North.

McElrath, 47, was previously convicted of rape in 1994 and remains on the sex offender registry.

He also has previous aggravated burglary and robbery convictions.

Nashville attorney Grover Collins, who is not involved in the case, told News 2 McElrath could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted on the rape charge. http://www.collinsfirmtn.com/.


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