• Police: DeLand woman kidnapped from gas station, raped


    DELAND, Fla. - A DeLand woman said a man kidnapped her from a local gas station, at knifepoint, and then raped her.

    The woman was able to eventually fight off the suspect and run for help.

    She told police the violent ordeal started at a Citgo gas station on Woodland Boulevard in Deland.

    Juan Vera Soledad had to be told by a judge during his first appearance in court that what he said could be used against him. He tried to deny kidnapping and raping a woman through his interpreter.

    He said he did not force a woman into his car and he looked troubled as the judge read his charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.

    He is in jail with a very high bond.

    Police found Soledad's alleged victim partially naked Monday night.

    A DeLand resident on Geryl Way called 911 and would not let her inside his house as she banged on the door for help.

    "There's a girl at my door screaming and crying she's been raped. I will not let her in. She's banging on my door. She's screaming and crying she's been raped," said the resident on the 911 call.

    The victim told police Soledad spotted her at the Citgo gas station on south Woodland Boulevard and began following her. He shouted at her and called her a name, then allegedly forced her into his car at knifepoint and raped her. He continued to deny that in court.

    "I didn't force anybody to do anything, to get into my car," Soledad said.

    The victim told police she escaped by elbowing Soledad in the chest. When police found her, they searched the area and also found Soledad with a prostitute in his car.

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