“Old Men Are Young Men in Old Bodies”: Woman Nearly Assaulted by Old Man in "Adopt a Grandparent" Program

Elizabeth Randolph - Author

Dec. 8 2023, Published 5:58 p.m. ET

Content warning: This article mentions allegations of attempted physical and sexual assault.

One of the joys of living longer is inspiring generations of people who will live on long after the elders aren’t around. Those fortunate enough to have grandparents or older people in their lives know how beneficial it is to learn from them through their years of wisdom.

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Unfortunately, with age doesn’t always come the wisdom for older people to give the young people in their lives. Some older people only have terror and creepiness to offer, as one woman discovered when her experience as an "adopt a grandparent" volunteer went horrifically awry.

The cautionary TikTok tale proved that no one should be counted out as a predator who likely believes “boys will be boys.”

An older man
Source: Getty Images

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A woman misinterpreted a “grandparent's” intentions during a volunteer opportunity.

There’s a reason they say you should never meet your heroes. Humans can be odd; sometimes, people will disappoint you with choices they learned from someone else. And, when it happens, you have to be prepared to be OK with being let down and take control of your life.

I don’t think comedian Olivia Vida (@oliviavidacomedy) thought of the person who disappointed her as a hero, but what he did violated their budding and short relationship. In October 2023, Olivia created a viral TikTok that began as a “Susi Stitch” with influencer Susi Vidal’s renowned “store-bought pesto” story.

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Olivia shared how her crazy Susi Stitch story began in college during her sophomore year. After all four of her grandparents died, Olivia decided to grieve by joining an “adopt a grandparent” program through her school. As a volunteer, Olivia was paired with an older woman, who she said was lovely to talk to. She eventually met another “grandparent,” an older gentleman, who she said “stole the show” with charm.

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Olivia and the older man soon hung out for coffee with his “grandson,” one of Olivia’s college friends. After chatting with him bout her dorm room’s location and college life, Olivia parted ways with the man, stating she had to “pay $400 for books.”

Thinking nothing of it, Olivia went on with her day, working a shift at the restaurant where she worked until late. It wasn’t until she got home that she realized the older man had intentions she never imagined.

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Olivia was almost attacked by the grandparent from her college volunteer program.

After getting home late from her waitressing job, Olivia went home, where she lived alone, to “pass out, hard.” At 5 in the morning, her much-needed rest ended when she heard incessant banging at her door. Eventually, Olivia went to see who was at the door, and, to her surprise, the older man from the event was on the other side.

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She said he stunned her by forcibly coming in, something she never thought he could do based on the “shuffles” she saw him do when they first met. Despite his frail body at 90 years old, Olivia said the man pushed his way into her apartment, leaving Olivia confused because it was 5 a.m. and her building had eight flights of stairs.

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As Olivia processed the man in her dorm, he got even weirder by repeatedly spewing out a saying to her.

“He says to me, he says, ‘Jesus spoke to me. Jesus sent me here,’” Olivia recalled. “And so that’s more crazy information that I’m processing.”

Olivia and the man then had a stare-down that ended with his telling her Jesus wanted her to have a baby. She initially thought the man meant she should care for a baby in need until he informed her that Jesus wanted her to have a baby and sent the 90-year-old to help her make the baby.

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Once Olivia realized the man’s real intentions of entering her room that morning, she reacted by matching his energy, telling him she was “barren.” When that didn’t work, Olivia rushed the man out of her dorm, teaching him he messed with the wrong one.

After listening to the man yell that Jesus was now “mad” at her, Olivia said the first call she made was to her dad. She explained how the man betrayed her and got into her house. Her dad told Olivia something she remembered years later that she shared with her TikTok community.

“He said to me something I will never forget,” she said. “He said, ‘Don’t ever look at an old man and think they’re not a threat to you. Don’t ever write them off and think that they’re benign, because old men are young men in an old body. Period. They have the same thoughts, the same desires, everything.’”

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Many of Olivia’s TikTok commenters were forever changed by her cautionary tale.

Olivia hoped her dad’s sage advice would be the “takeaway” from anyone looking at her video. As wild as her story was, older men are just as likely as anyone else to be predatory and abusive. You can’t think you’re safe with anyone, even if they don’t look like a threat.

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Olivia’s nightmare didn’t end there. After calling security on her attacker, she discovered that security had given him access to her room without her permission. She said the older man posed as her grandpa and said he would take her to breakfast.

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Still, despite evidence of his actions, the man wasn’t arrested for his crime against Olivia. But thankfully, he was eventually convicted for harassing another girl at Olivia’s school.

Despite the horrific experience, Olivia is happy she took charge of the situation and handled herself accordingly. Underneath her video, she received tons of comments from those who were proud of her for sharing her story.

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“I’m so sorry this happened—I hate to think of the abuse trail of that man…” one commenter wrote.

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“Your dad is so right!” another declared. “I’m gonna remember that and tell my daughter the same.”

“This is wild and traumatizing. Hope you’re OK,” a third user said.

If you need support, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.

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