Man charged in 'heinous' rape, torture of elderly sisters in Dearborn home invasion

The Ecorse man accused in a horrific sexual assault, beating and torture of two elderly sisters in Dearborn faced a judge Wednesday.

Michael Shawn Holcomb Jr. appeared for his arraignment on 20 felony charges, including five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of torture, and two counts of strangulation.

The elderly women, one in her 80s and the other in her 70s, were victims of the home invasion on Sunday in the south end of the city - near Southfield and Outer Drive. Both victims are in stable condition, but remain hospitalized because of the assault.

The suspect was arrested at a nearby motel in Melvindale shortly after the home invasion.

Holcomb, a registered sex offender, stood mute while his charges were read, which the judge said is the same as entering a not guilty plea. 

In a press conference following the court hearing, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin were both appalled at the savage attack, calling it among the worst they have seen in their long careers.

"In my 26 years, this crime is one of the most heinous things I have witnessed. I continue to pray for the victims and their families," Shahin said. "It's terrible. It's disgusting. And you know, I pray that he never breathes the same air that I breathe again. And I don't know if that's appropriate Prosecutor Worthy, but those are my feelings."

Worthy called the brutality of the case details unimaginable.

"And for someone who's seen what we have seen collectively, that's saying a lot," she said. "Our victims were brutally beaten. Our victims were brutally assaulted. Our victims were brutally raped, and our victims were really tortured.

"I think I've seen every way a person can be killed, maimed, hurt, raped. I did a lot of work in sexual assault during that period of time…and when I tell you in those thousands of cases I've seen heard about, presided over, and actually tried myself, and advised my staff - this is among the worst set of facts that I've seen."

Shahin praised the two victims of the attack saying that they responded courageously. One of the victims was in a wheelchair, but despite their injuries, they "managed the chaos" and resisted as well as they could.

"They're remarkable for their age and I can't speak to the details," he said. "But I am profoundly just amazed at the way that they responded and the way that they look out for each other, and the way that they fought."

The home, located in the quiet Snow Woods community, was picked at random by the suspect. It is unclear how he made entry or how he may have forced his way in.

"I can't necessarily answer those questions of why that house, why that day, I don't have the answers," Shahin said. "I can tell you that it was random."