LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We’re now learning more about the arrest of an 18-year-old for violently sexually assaulting an elderly woman. Police say Leandre Burnett sexually assaulted the woman while she was resting on a bench 400 block of South 7th Street.
The alleged incident took place on June 23 at about 2 a.m.
According to the arrest report, at that time, Burnett approached the victim while she was on the bench. She said she had gotten to the area about two hours prior to sleep for the night.
Burnett introduced himself as “Leon” and told the woman he would “pay for it.” She assumed he meant sexual intercourse, to which she replied: “No. I don’t do that.”
Burnett then allegedly started touching her below the waist over her clothes. The victim told Burnett to stop, which led to Burnett responding violently. He then strangled the victim with one hand, while continuing to touch her with the other.
The victim said she thought Burnett was going to kill her. She says she told him, “don’t let me die,” as she tried to get him to stop strangling her. The victim said her attempts did not work, as Burnett overpowered her.
She was then rendered unconscious from being strangled. When she woke up, she found that Burnett had gotten on top of her, removed her pants and was raping her. He was also still strangling her.
The victim soon lost consciousness again. The next time she woke up, Burnett was gone and she was completely naked from the waist down. Her cell phone and coin purse were also missing from her belongings.
The victim later walked to El Cortez, where she had an employee call 911.
Police say according to video evidence, this entire encounter happened within an hour. They also say video evidence backed up the victim’s claims.
Burnett was later arrested the next day as police were conducting an investigation in the 100 block of east Bonneville Avenue. Burnett was arrested on outstanding warrants. He was then brought in for questioning regarding the sexual assault incident.
Police say Burnett confirmed that he was the person shown in surveillance photos at the scene. He also confirmed the victim shown in the photos was the person he interacted with.
Burnett did not admit to the crimes, however. He said he did not have any physical contact with the woman and that his DNA would not be on her or her property.
When presented with video evidence, Burnett responded that video surveillance “doesn’t always show the truth.” He then asked for a lawyer to be present for questioning.
Police then took DNA from Burnett’s person for laboratory analysis.
Burnett is facing the following charges:
- First Degree Kidnapping
- Battery by Strangulation with Intent to Commit Sexual Assault (x2)
- Sexual Assault (x2)
- Open or Gross Lewdness