The Spanish-Moroccan man is accused of rape, bodily harm and theft, and faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty, the Rheinische Post reports.
The 90-year-old victim had just lit a candle in the St. Lambertus Church in the old town of Düsseldorf on October 2nd, when the young man confronted her and shouted “money, money!”, according to the prosecution.
But when the woman did not have any money with her, the 19-year-old dragged her into the courtyard where he pulled down her leggings and raped her, before strangling her and pulling at her hair.
Finally he went through her handbag, stealing her house key and writing down her address. There is no evidence that he later broke into her home.
The attack left the woman needing treatment in hospital.
Police caught the man a few weeks after the attack, when DNA from the crime scene was found to match the DNA taken from him after he was arrested for a theft that took place in May 2016.