Chesterfield school employee arrested for attempted rape of 85-year-old woman

Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-12 19:53:01-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. — A 53-year-old man arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a resident at a retirement home is also listed as the custodian at James River High school.

Thomas M. Garrett was arrested and charged with attempted rape through the use of the victim’s mental incapacity.

The incident happened Sunday, March 8 around 7:40 p.m. at the Virginia Retirement Community were Garrett volunteered; located in the 300 block of Twinridge Lane.

Police said they were called after a worker allegedly walked in on Garrett in the 85-year-old female victim’s room.

The victim was taken to the hospital and has since been released.

Chesterfield County school officials confirmed that Garrett has held a custodial position for nearly two years.

"These are very serious charges that do not involve the school division,” said Shawn Smith Spokesman, Chesterfield Schools. “The employee will not return to the school pending the disposition of the charges and the administrative process.”

Garret’s home address was listed in 7700 block of Midlothian Turnpike. The woman who answered the door did not want to make a comment, define her relationship to Garrett, or confirm if he was on the property to make a comment.

“You get hell off my property before I call the cops," said the unidentified woman.

Residents at the retirement home facility, as well as family members, questioned why they had not heard about the alleged sexual assault.

Facility spokesperson Brian Fawkes said administrators did not send written letters to everyone, but did announce what happened during a community meal Monday.

Thomas Garrett remains behind bars until his next court hearing in May.

Police said detectives are still investigating the incident.