91-year-old arrested on sex charge
Grand Junction Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
PALISADE ” A 91-year-old resident of the Palisade Living Center and convicted sex offender was jailed on suspicion of attempted rape Sunday against a nurse at the center.
After being given his medication by a nurse, Ralph Ridenour grabbed her, held her, attempted to remove her pants, and repeated that he would rape her, according to his arrest affidavit.
Ridenour was being held on $3,000 cash bond at the Mesa County Jail. Charges include criminal attempt to commit unlawful sexual contact using force and false imprisonment using force.
Ridenour has a reputation of being violent, the affidavit said.
The alleged victim told Palisade police “everyone is very careful in his room because he becomes violent when he does not get his way,” the affidavit said.
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He’s also not a little, old, frail man, said Sgt. Bobby Sowler of the Palisade Police Department.
“It scared her very badly,” Sowler said.
Ridenour also fakes senility, Sowler said.
“His doctor was called and his doctor said he knew right from wrong,” Sowler said. “Sometimes he has dementia, sometimes he doesn’t .”
Ridenour became combative when the Palisade officer questioned him.
“Ralph told me to get out of the room because he had a gun and would shoot me,” the affidavit said. “Ralph then kicked me in the right thigh from his bed. He attempted to kick me twice more from his bed but missed,” when the officer dodged the kick.
Ridenour was convicted in March 2000 of sexual assault on a child, no force, Sowler said. The charge stemmed from an incident in December 1999.
Ridenour was also charged with failing to register as a sex offender in July 2006, according to Mesa County records.
Ridenour was the only registered sex offender living at the Palisade Living Center, Sowler said, but “they had another guy a while back.”