An 88-year-old woman managed to stop an intruder raping her by claiming she had HIV.
Helen Reynolds was subjected to a three-hour ordeal after a man forced his way into her flat in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and used duct tape to tie her up.
Mrs Reynolds said her attacker snatched cash before taking off her clothing and throwing her face first onto the bed.
Initially, she attempted to physically fight him off before resorting to guile to avoid being sexually assaulted.
"I said to him, 'Well it's like this, you might as well know the truth," she told CBS.
"I have HIV and my husband died from it,' which is a lie.
"When I said that he just walked out of the bedroom. That's the comment that saved my life."
Once the suspect had fled, she was able to chew through the tape and alert a neighbour.
"It was all about me and my God and he helped me out," she said.
Mrs Reynolds said of her attacker: "I have nothing good to say about him. Nothing at all. Put him in jail, and leave the sucker there."
No one has so far been detained in connection with the attack on Mrs Reynolds.
However, an arrest has been made over an earlier, similar violent break-in nearby, in which a 72-year-old was assaulted and left tied up in a wardrobe for four days.
Police are investigating whether the 17-year-old in custody could be linked to other recent incidents.