The attorney for a man accused of attempting to rape an elderly woman in her San Francisco home called the incident “an honest mistake” on Wednesday, after a jury acquitted him of two of the most serious charges he faced earlier this week.
On Monday, a jury found 27-year-old Teandre Howard-Kidd not guilty of two felonies, including burglary and burglary with the intent to commit sexual assault. The jury, however, found Kidd guilty of two misdemeanors, assault and elder abuse.
According to Deputy Public Defender Sujung Kim, Howard-Kidd suffers from mental illness and when he arrived at the North Ping Yuen apartments at 838 Pacific Ave. on New Years Eve 2018, he intended to visit his uncle.
Once there, however, he became confused and knocked on the wrong door. When the victim, a 99-year-old woman, answered the door, Howard-Kidd walked into her apartment, believing it was his uncle’s.
After washing his hands in the woman’s bathroom, prosecutors alleged he lied on her bed. He then pulled down his pants and allegedly reached for the woman, although she pushed him away.
At some point Howard-Kidd pulled his pants up and left the apartment, court documents said.
According to Kim, Howard-Kidd suffers from schizophrenic delusions and has an extensive history of accessing emergency psychiatric services in the city. Because of his illness, Howard-Kidd believed the 99-year-old woman was making a sexual advance at him, prompting him to pull his pants down, although he never touched her, Kim said.
Surveillance video from the apartment complex showed that Howard-Kidd was in the apartment a total of four minutes.
“This situation started off as an honest mistake. Teandre wasn’t there to harm anybody—he was acting and responding through the lens of his mental illness. The jury heard all the facts and knew Teandre did not intend to rape anyone,” Kim said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Anni Chung, president and CEO of the organization Self-Help for the Elderly, said in a statement, the “verdict trivialized the crime and experience of the victim. Despite the verdict our community is proud of the senior’s courage for reporting the crime and testifying. And we’re grateful for the swift work of the police to find and arrest the manwho committed the crime.”
Howard-Kidd is due back in court on Jan. 2 for sentencing.