Man pleads guilty in sex assault case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Aaron Michael Hayes, 21, will be sentenced July 11 for the sexual assault of an 81-year-old Austin woman.

Hayes entered a guilty plea Friday in Mower County Third Judicial District Court, according to the prosecutor. The plea agreement calls for five counts of criminal sexual conduct and burglary to be dropped.

Hayes also entered a guilty plea to a second degree assault with a deadly weapon charge stemming from a July 2002 stabbing incident at a northwest Austin residence.

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Mower County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Eric Herendeen said he informed the victim of the sexual assault of the plea bargain and she accepted it. She will not have to testify about her ordeal.

Hayes was identified as the assailant through the use of DNA sampling.

Herendeen also said Hayes can expect a 12-year prison sentence, the mandatory minimum sentence allowed by statute.

Hayes admitted breaking into the elderly woman's ground-floor Chauncey Apartments' unit in November 2002.

Only hours after the attack, an Austin patrolman stopped Hayes walking in the vicinity of the downtown apartment complex, but let him go after a brief interview.

When Hayes was arrested and charged with the crime, he attacked Capt. Curt Rude in a law enforcement center interrogation room where he was being questioned. Rude suffered a superficial wound.

The assault of the police captain is one of the charges being dropped, according to Herendeen.

While in custody in the Mower County Jail, Hayes also attempted to harm himself by ramming his head into the bars of his jail cell.

He made a second unsuccessful attempt to harm himself while recovering from the head injuries at the Austin Medical Center.

According to Herendeen, Rude also accepted the plea agreement settlement of the assault incident.

Hayes was also charged in one of two northwest Austin stabbing incidents in July 2002.

On July 14 and 16 at the same 609 11th St. NW residence, stabbings occurred.

According to Austin Police Department reports, a mixed-race group of teenagers and young adults was attacked in the first incident by a baseball-bat wielding group of white men with shaved heads. The combatants shouted "Wood, Wood, Wood,' which led investigators to believe they were affiliated with the Inland Empire chapter of a white supremacists group.

Hayes was involved in the second stabbing incident at the same residence. In that incident a 17-year-old boy was stabbed. Like the victims of the first stabbing incident, he recovered from his injuries.

Hayes, who remains in the Mower County Jail, is represented by public defender Paul Spyhalski.

Lee Bonorden can be contacted at 434-2232 or by e-mail at