MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A woman who police say posed as a spiritual advisor is accused of beating up an elderly Miami woman.
Raphaela Mendoza is being held without bond, accused of tricking the elderly victim into her home, trying to rob her and ultimately leaving the woman beaten and bloody.
Mendoza cried and rubbed her face in bond court and, speaking through a translator, asked the court to be lenient based on her health issues.
“I have the issue of psychiatric issue, and I have my diabetes issue and my arthritis,” said Mendoza.
Mendoza, 53, reportedly approached 90-year old Siria Lopez while she was doing a little gardening outside her residence at 219 SW 21st Street, in the neighborhood of Little Havana, and offered to bless her home and asked for water.
According to police, Mendoza followed Lopez inside and, according to police, began to snoop around while she asked for a few items for the cleansing. Lopez was stunned when she found Mendoza rummaging through her things inside her bedroom.
Lopez’s daughter, Rosa, who was asleep inside her bedroom, heard the commotion and went to see what was going on. Police said she found her bloodied mother trying to hold down Mendoza. Rosa Lopez went to help her mother but Mendoza was able to break free and ride off on a bicycle with some belongings taken from the home.
Police said they were able to track Mendoza down through a letter that she left behind at the Lopez’s home which had her address on it.
Shortly after Miami police took Mendoza into custody and charged her with one count of home invasion robbery, one count of occupied burglary with an assault therein and one count of battery on the elderly. During a hearing Wednesday morning, a judge ordered that she be held without bond.
Mendoza’s defense attorney tried to have her transferred to a hospital for her physical and mental issues but the judge denied that request and instead ordered corrections to give the self-purported spiritual adviser treatment behind bars.