ELMORE CO., AL (WSFA) - An Elmore County judge has set bond for a man arrested in a crime involving a home break in and forced sexual encounter stunned even veteran members of law enforcement.
The suspect, Mark Crowe, 19, of Prattville, went before a judge Friday where bond was set at $305,000. A $100,000 cash bond, which must be paid in full, was set for two of the nine counts he faces, first degree sodomy and robbery.
Officials say elements of the home invasion make the case stand apart. It happened in the Crenshaw Community off Highway 111 late Wednesday night.
The victim's name and address are not being released because of the nature of the crime, Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin indicated. The victim, a man in his 30s, was home alone when he heard something outside. A few minutes later, a man barged through his back door, armed with a knife and wanting money.
Crowe forced the victim to take off his clothes.
"I believe our victim is going to tell you that he had every reason to believe this man also had a gun," the sheriff said. "During the assailant's time there at the trailer... he actually sexually assaulted the victim," he continued.
After that, officials say Crowe repeatedly asked for a large sum of money. The victim remembered that his stepfather had a gun and told Crowe that if he went with him to his mother and stepfather's house nearby, they could get money there.
They drove over in the victim's truck and when they got there, the victim informed his mother in a low tone of voice that he was being robbed and got her inside the home to safety. They called 911 as Crowe drove off in the victim's car.
Deputy Donald Foster, a 24 year member of law enforcement, was traveling on Highway 111 north of Holtville when he spotted the pickup truck and a chase ensued.
When the truck Crowe was driving got caught in railroad ties, Sheriff Franklin says Foster put the front bumper of his car up against the driver door. Crowe then jumped out the passenger door and took off running. During the foot pursuit, Crowe was tazered and arrested.
He is charged with nine counts of robbery, sodomy, theft of property, and burglary, several traffic offenses including fleeing and attempting to elude police, resisting arrest and not having a driver's license.
Investigators say they've also learned that Crowe was involved in the burglary of a church and breaking and entering several vehicles in the church parking lot. He faces additional charges in connection with those crimes.
Crowe and the victim in the home invasion do not know each other. Officials believe Crowe was out walking in the area Wednesday night. When he was interviewed by authorities, Sheriff Franklin says Crowe indicated he is on probation in Autauga County for burglary and theft and to having a Xanax and marijuana problem.
"He admitted that it makes him want to kill, steal, makes him angry," the sheriff said. "He remembers everything up to the point of the assault and after the assault."
"He sexually assaulted a young man who did not deserve, want, or have anything to do with this kind of thing. He has dramatically impacted someone's life. This is not something the victim is going to get over any time soon," Houston said. "We to protect him and make sure that no other individuals in Elmore County or any other county around here are subject to this type of assault."
According to officials, most of the break-ins that occur in Elmore County take place when the homeowners are at work. The sheriff says one out of 300 burglaries may involve a home invasion, but the most recent case is even more rare.
"I don't ever recall a home invasion where someone was sexually assaulted in this manner," Franklin revealed. "The victim is going through a lot of trauma right now, obviously."
"We've never, as far as I've been district attorney, heard about someone being sexually assaulted in a home invasion like this. It's a highly unusual set of facts," Houston added.
Mark Crowe is being held in the Elmore County Jail.