Police Arrest Suspect in Sexual Assault of Elderly Woman

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jeffrey Ritter, 32, was picked up after police received a tip, sources told NBC New York. He is charged with one count of a criminal sexual act, sexual abuse and first-degree robbery. (Published Thursday, Jun 2, 2011)

    A convicted sex offender with arrests in several states is being charged in the brutal sexual assault of an elderly woman on the Upper East Side, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

    Jeffrey Ritter, 32, was picked up late Wednesday night based on a tip police had received in a 911 call, Kelly said.

    Ritter's criminal history includes the sexual assault of a child in Nebraska, officials said. He should have been registered as a sex offender, but was not. Ritter, described as a self-employed tattoo artist, also has past arrests for aggravated robbery.

    In the New York case, the 85-year-old woman was assaulted early Monday morning in a quiet Upper East Side area near Central Park and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Her attacker was captured on surveillance video dragging the woman down East 83rd Street between Fifth and Madison avenues around 5:40 a.m.

    Police say he dragged her into a stairwell, forced her to perform oral sex and then fled. He also stole a ring from her.

    She was taken to a hospital and was recovering.

    Residents in the area were shocked at the brazen, daylight attack.

    "In the light of the day, in this area, you would not even expect a mugging," said Monika Ziegler, 65, who lives nearby.

    Ritter, of Brooklyn, is charged with one count of a criminal sexual act, sexual abuse and first-degree robbery.

    He was being processed and did not immediately have a lawyer.