Tulsa Woman Shares Story Of Survival For First Time After Assault

A 73-year-old Tulsa nun is telling her story for the first time after she was brutally beaten and raped inside her home by her handyman.

Monday, April 24th 2023, 6:15 pm



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A 73-year-old Tulsa nun is telling her story for the first time after she was brutally beaten and raped inside her home by her handyman.

Elga Harper was convicted of the crimes in February. Sister Ellie Finlay testified at Harper's trial, that he ripped her clothes off, beat her, tied a cord around her neck and dragged her around her house like an animal.

A year after the attack, she is sharing her story to help empower other women.

Sister Ellie suffered horrific injuries, including her head being split open. While the physical wounds are healing, the psychological and emotional scars remain all too fresh. She never thought letting someone she knew use her bathroom would be unsafe, but it changed her life.

"He turned me upside down and tied the cord around my ankles, pulled me up around here, pulled me this way, and grabbed me right over here and held me up and dropped me,” said Ellie, describing being attacked in her bathroom.

Sister Ellie said the memories are forever imprinted on her mind.

"I thought I was paralyzed. The immediate impact, I couldn't move,” said Sister Ellie recalled.

Harper had done some odd jobs for Ellie. In May of 2022, he came by asking if she had work, but she didn't. He asked to use the bathroom, but she found him standing in her bedroom naked and that's when the terror hit her.

"I assumed he was going to rape me of course. It never occurred to me he was going to beat me to a pulp,” said Ellie. “I fought and I didn't realize that I would."

Ellie's wounds are healing, but she has severe nerve damage, which makes her hands feel like she's being shocked. She exercises her hands by playing the piano.

"I worked with myself to let go of that need to know why he would do something like that,” said Ellie.

Ellie said realizing she will never be the same is helping her heal. She hopes her story will give other women strength to come forward with their own stories.

"I've come farther than I expected at this point,” said Ellie. “You'll be doing a good thing to come forward. Hiding from it isn't doing nobody any good. You can have something unbelievably horrible happen and there's no way you can feel okay right now, that's to be understood, but as time goes on, whatever happens, we can find a way to be okay."

As an episcopal nun, Ellie has dedicated her life to helping others who have gone through horrible situations.

She said her trauma has given her an even better understanding of what others have gone through like she's never had before.

Harper will be sentenced in July.

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