Investigators arrest 14-year-old accused of sexual battery against 91-year-old woman

REDDICK, Fla. — After more than a week of investigations, deputies were able to arrest a 14-year-old accused of sexual battery against a 91-year-old woman inside her home.


The case happened in Reddick just after midnight on June 9, leaving the whole community on edge.

“It’s really sad,” said long-time Reddick resident Marvin. “It makes me feel unsafe, insecure.”

Deputies say the suspect broke into the victim’s home and punched her.

The woman tried to push him off but wasn’t able to – and that’s when the suspect proceeded to sexually batter her.

Read: Deputies: 14-year-old arrested after sexual assault of 91-year-old woman

“It came to a point that she couldn’t fight back anymore, so she just turned it over to God,” said the victim’s niece, Wanda Lasher, after the crime.

Investigators say neighbors were very helpful sharing tips about this case, but it was the suspect himself who offered crucial evidence.

According to the arrest report, the defendant approached investigators on his bike and told them a neighbor and his wife had been reviewing their camera footage and had “found something they wanted to show deputies.”

That footage showed a person jogging near the victim’s home moments before the crime, wearing a dark shirt and gym shorts, which appeared to be same clothes the suspect was wearing when he approached investigators earlier.

Read: ‘I will find you’: Sheriff says stranger beat, sexually battered woman, 91, at Marion County home

“There was blood of the scene DNA and just evidence that was left that matched up directly to this victim and to our suspect at the same time,” said Lt. Paul Bloom with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. “So that put him there at the scene of his crime.”

The woman lived in the same area for most of her life and she is quite known in the community – neighbors refer to her as the “neighborhood granny,” according to deputies.

Investigators say kids, including the suspect, would often hang out by her place.

“It’s a small, maybe a Mile Square neighborhood up there into the town of Reddick,” said Lt. Bloom. “This suspect had been to her house before. He was familiar with our victim and had they did know each other.”

Read: MISSING: Marion County woman with the mental capacity of a 9-year-old vanishes

Channel 9 visited the suspect’s home, but no one answered. He now faces at least three felony charges of sexual battery, burglary with battery, and battery on a person older than 65.

Investigators say nothing was robbed from the woman’s home, so the question that remains is – why would a 14-year-old do that?

“There’s really no good answer on that,” said Lt. Bloom. “We all want to know why, but I don’t know if we will ever get that answer.”

Channel 9 reached out to the State Attorney’s Office to see if the 14-year-old would be charged as an adult and is waiting to hear back.

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