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Alleged rape of elderly woman in Osceola County apartment brings Miya’s Law to forefront

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A Kissimmee maintenance worker is in jail and an elderly woman is left traumatized after investigators said he raped her in her own apartment.

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It happened on March 2 at Simpson Ridge Apartments when the man, later identified as Freddy LaFuente, was fixing something inside her laundry room when he raped and battered her.

Investigators said LaFuente is a maintenance man at Simpson Ridge and told the elderly woman he liked her in the past.

READ: ‘This is a sick man’: Apartment maintenance worker arrested after allegedly raping elderly woman

Sheriff Marcos Lopez said what happened to the 70-year-old woman living in the apartments is something she’ll never forget, and believes LaFuente should stay in prison for it.

“What is well or fine or good after you’ve been subjected to this? There’s no wellbeing set after this,” Sheriff Marcos Lopez said. “What can we this guy, 50 years? 75 years? 100 years?”

LaFuente is being held without bond. He is currently on probation for beating up a coworker in 2018.

READ: Miya’s Law to improve tenant safety unanimously passes Senate

“Their human resources really needs to look into how and why they’re hiring them to make sure they’re secure for anybody that’s living in the apartment complex,” Lopez said.

The case is reminiscent of Miya Marcano, the former Valencia College student who investigators said was murdered by a maintenance man.

Her story is the reason for Miya’s Law, a bill that could have potentially stopped LaFuente from being hired.

READ: Miya’s Law moves to House and Senate after passing final committee hearing

The law is supposed to give people living in apartments more safety by requiring a 12- to 24-hour notice for staff entering apartments, as well as national background checks for people applying to complexes, and a check of sexual predator registries.

Channel 9 asked the apartment complex about LaFuente and how he was hired there, but staff declined to comment and asked us to leave the property.

Lopez said keeping tenants safe from people like LaFuente is a no-brainer.

READ: ‘A complete and utter nightmare’: Miya Marcano’s family speaks out on losing loved one

“Anybody who is employing someone, it’s their responsibility to do thorough background checks.”

The Senate approved Miya’s Law last week. It’s not up to the House. It needs to be voted on before the end of session, which is scheduled to end Friday.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

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