Man ordered to stand trial in rape of boy

Posted: September 10, 2009

In a clear voice devoid of fear, a 10-year-old Kingsessing boy yesterday told a Philadelphia Family Court judge of how he had been abducted from his bicycle, dragged into a house and upstairs to a filthy bedroom, where he was raped by an 18-year-old man from the neighborhood.

"I was screaming and banging against the wall," said the boy, who recalled that the March 26 sexual assault lasted 20 minutes.

"I was saying, 'Get off of me!' He was saying, 'Be quiet,' " said the boy, who identified Walter Vicks as the man who held him upside down and stripped off his pants and underwear.

Neighbors of the defendant, Walter Vicks, heard the screams and called police to his home, on 56th Street near Springfield Avenue.

"When the cops broke the windows, it sounded like a gun," testified the boy, who added that during the commotion he escaped and bolted down the stairs.

Vicks suffered minor injuries while trying to flee from police. The boy was taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he remained for a day for treatment.

After hearing the boy's testimony, Judge Eugene Maier ordered Vicks to stand trial on 15 charges including rape, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, corruption of a minor and involuntary deviant sexual intercourse.

Vicks' court-appointed attorney, Elizabeth McHughs, argued that a weapon-possession charge should be dropped because, although the boy said he had seen a large knife in the bedroom closet, he never said Vicks had threatened him with it.

Maier was unmoved and held Vicks on that charge as well.

Vicks, who wore handcuffs, faded blue jeans and a red-hooded sweatshirt, will have his formal arraignment Sept. 30 in Common Pleas Court.

Court records indicate that he has been in jail since the attack, unable to post 10 percent of a $250,000 bail.

Before yesterday's preliminary hearing, the court determined that Vicks is mentally competent to stand trial.

The day of the attack had been pleasant for the young victim. His school let out early, he said, so he went home, changed his clothes and jumped on his bike, headed for a friend's house.

Shortly after 1:30 p.m. near 56th and Springfield, the boy said, he saw Vicks walking toward him. The boy said he recognized him, though the two had never spoken.

The boy said that Vicks then grabbed him, picked him up and carried him the short distance to Vicks' house, where the attack took place.

"Certainly, this was an especially heinous, brutal and violent crime," Assistant District Attorney Mark Cipolletti said following the hearing. "It was forcible by the most extreme circumstances."

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