Limp helps to convict rapist in vicious SoMa attack 

click to enlarge Guilty: Jurors asked Maurice Rodney Hickman, 45, to walk in court during his trial for the rape of a disabled woman. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Guilty: Jurors asked Maurice Rodney Hickman, 45, to walk in court during his trial for the rape of a disabled woman.

The monster who raped a disabled woman in her South of Market apartment two years ago as she was awaiting a Meals on Wheels delivery is facing 46 years to life in prison after a jury on Monday convicted him of six of seven
felony counts.

Maurice Rodney Hickman, 45, of San Francisco was found guilty of rape, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and criminal threats, among other charges, in connection with the March 24, 2010, attack on a woman with severe scoliosis, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Hickman plotted the attack on his neighbor, who is in her 50s and uses a walker, Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai said.

Video surveillance footage captured before and after the crime — along with Hickman’s distinctive features, including his limp — helped garner the guilty verdict, Talai said.

Jurors requested that Hickman walk in court so they could see his limp. He tried to clasp his hands behind his back to mask the limp, Talai said, but the effort failed.

According to court testimony, the victim was waiting for Meals on Wheels around lunchtime when her doorbell rang. Instead of a hot meal, she encountered Hickman, who was wearing a black hoodie with a bandana covering the bottom half of his face.

Hickman pushed the woman into her apartment, hollered, “Shut up, bitch,” forced her to the ground, and held a kitchen knife to her throat, prosecutors said. He used the knife to rip off her clothes, prosecutors said, then choked her and threatened to kill her when she tried to scream.

The disturbing crime was planned, prosecutors said. Video surveillance revealed that before the attack, Hickman left his apartment wearing a light-colored hoodie and carrying a black bag. He went to the stairwell and changed clothes, putting a black hoodie well over his head to hide his face from the camera, Talai said.

About 20 minutes later, he was seen again on camera in the stairwell changing back into his original attire, prosecutors said.

“He has a distinctive limp and a whitish-colored lower lip,” Talai said, “so that was helpful in identifying him on video.”

Hickman later admitted to investigators that he was inside the apartment, but said he was there only to ask for money.

He is scheduled to be sentenced May 3.

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