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Man convicted of hate crimes in attacks on elderly

A 47-year-old man was convicted of hate crimes by a Queens jury in connection with a daylong crime spree that included robbing a 101-year-old woman using a walker, who he punched in the face several times, the Queens district attorney said.

Jack Rhodes, whose last known address was in East Elmhurst, was convicted of robbery, burglary and assault for the crime spree that included muggings of two other women, one of whom was 85 at the time and also used a walker.

"The defendant's propensity to savagely accost elderly and defenseless women, two of whom need the aid of a walker to get around, was rightly condemned by today's guilty verdict," District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The robberies occurred over several hours on March 4, 2007 in Jamaica. Two of the robberies were caught on building surveillance cameras.

According to prosecutors, Rose Morat, who is now 103, has gotten off the elevator in lobby of her building when Rhodes approached her and offered to open the door. He then repeatedly punched in the left side of the face, causing her to fall. He demanded money and then grabbed her pocketbook and keys before fleeing with a bicycle.

Rhodes faces up to 90 years in prison. He was charged under a state law that allows prosecutors to enhance charges if victims are selected for having a disability or being more than 60 years old.

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