A 72-year-old Ocala woman was arrested recently after she allegedly abused a disabled man who caught her going through and taking clothes out of his wife’s closet.
Mary Jemison Rafferty was charged with abuse of an elderly or disabled adult without great harm after the incident, which happened at a residence she owns. The relationship between Rafferty and the victim was redacted from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office report.
The victim told a sheriff’s deputy he is disabled after having multiple toes surgically removed from his feet due to a medical condition. He said his wife sleeps in the room next to his, and they have been living at the residence for about five years. The victim said Rafferty obtained an injunction against his wife and his wife was removed from the home when the injunction was served several days earlier, according to the report.
The victim said he heard Rafferty in his wife’s room, taking items out of the closet. He said he got up and went into the bedroom and saw Rafferty removing clothing from the closet The victim said he confronted Rafferty about being in the bedroom and she sprayed him with an unknown liquid from a black container and tried to step on his foot, which had a medical brace on it. He said he didn’t feel any burning and was not sure what Rafferty sprayed him with, the report said.
Rafferty told the deputy she entered the room because the victim’s wife’s friend asked her to get the clothing, and also because she owns the house. She said the victim came into the room aggressively pushed her. Rafferty said she tried to use her pepper spray on him, according to the report.
The deputy spoke by phone with the victim’s wife, who said she never asked Rafferty to enter the room. She also said she just received a text from Rafferty telling her to hang up on the deputy and to say she gave Rafferty permission to enter the room, the report said.
Deputies have repeatedly responded to this residence over the last several weeks to deal with domestic incidents. Due to the recent call volume and Rafferty unlawfully being in a room the victim’s wife has occupied for five years, the deputy feared further violence was imminent and determined Rafferty was the primary aggressor in the incident, according to the report.
Rafferty was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was released on $5,000 bond. She is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Sept. 8.