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HONESDALE, PA — A teen from Tobyhanna, Azaiah Williams, now 17, has pleaded guilty to attempted homicide and sexual assault. According to the Wayne County District Attorney, he now faces up to a total of 50 years in prison and a $75,000 fine.
By pleading guilty to the sexual assault charge, Williams is required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and is also required to be evaluated to determine if he meets the criteria to be deemed a Sexually Violent Predator. He is scheduled for sentencing on March 9, 2017 at 9:30 a.m. at the Wayne County Courthouse.
Williams was arrested on October 1, 2015 for stabbing an 83-year old woman and then raping her at her home in Dreher Township the week before his arrest.
According to a press release from Wayne County District Attorney Janine Edwards at the time, “The victim was taken to Pocono Medical Center and put into a medically induced coma due to the severity of her injuries.” The victim has since gone through rehabilitation.
A laboratory found William’s semen in the victim’s underpants, which were taken as part of a sexual assault collection kit performed at the hospital.
Williams allegedly took a credit card belonging to the victim, and his aunt discovered it in his possession and called the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department. An officer who responded to the home recognized the victim’s name on the card.
Williams voluntarily went to the Pennsylvania State Police station in Honesdale and admitted to knocking on people’s doors in the victim’s neighborhood. He said he went to the victim’s door to ask to use her phone, and she answered the door holding a seven-inch steak knife. He took the knife away from her, and repeatedly stabbed the victim in her neck, chest and back before removing her clothing and raping her. He left her on the floor unconscious and bleeding.
Edwards said after the arrest, “No one can answer why these things happen, but thankfully because of both the intensive police work of the Pennsylvania State Police and the exceptional alertness of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department, an atrocious crime is solved. The severity and heinousness of these crimes leads to the charging of this 15-year-old as an adult. I am hopeful the victim recovers and can see justice in this matter.”
Edwards said she was pleased that Williams pleaded guilty to the charges rather than going through with the trial.