• Suspected Daytona Beach serial rapist facing additional charges, police say

    By: Mike Springer , Ken Tyndall , James Tutten , Samantha Manning

    Updated:

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A judge decided Friday a man Daytona Beach police said raped at least five different women is a danger to the community.

    Markeith Martin, 44, appeared unfazed as he shuffled into court wearing his orange jumpsuit to face two new charges.

    Martin has been locked up for eight days at the Volusia County Jail on a sexual battery charge from August.


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    "To me, he's a sexual predator,” said Daytona Beach Police Chief Craig Capri. “This guy's a serial rapist. He's going around hunting women and attacking women. And thank God they're alive."

    Officer said Martin confessed to an attack that happened last August on North Peninsula Drive.

    Police said the victim had stopped to work on her bicycle.

    Martin grabbed her by the throat, threatened repeatedly to stab her and then raped her, police said.

    Police said the victim told them Martin became apologetic afterward, and even said, "Do you think I'm a bad person for what I've done?"

    There are three other cases in Daytona Beach and another in Holly Hill that police said they connected to the suspect through DNA.

    One of the victims in Daytona Beach said Martin approached her with a pocket knife and dragged her into the woods. She said he then "punched her in the head with a closed fist and choked her." Martin then sexually assaulted the woman, according to the victim. 

    Another case from 2017 tied Martin to a rape inside a Daytona Beach hotel where a victim said Martin grabbed her by the throat and choked her. 

    "The common pattern here is to attack women, to rape them and to strangle them, to get violent with them," Capri said.

    WFTV found an arrest record dating back more than 20 years for other crimes. Records show Martin has been arrested on suspicion of 23 felonies and 21 misdemeanors, including numerous drug charges, domestic violence, battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He has a total of 15 convictions.

    Watch the full press conference with the Daytona Beach Police Department on the arrest:

    Court records show Martin was arrested in 2014 for sexual battery. The State Attorney's Office said it was unable to locate the victim to testify in court, so the charges were reduced to aggravated assault.

    Martin served 37 months in prison but was not required to register as a sex offender.

    Police are asking any other potential victims to come forward.

    Martin made his first appearance before a judge Saturday morning, where he voiced his disdain for his arrest before a judge.

    The judge ordered him to be held on no bond after prosecutors argued he should not be released because of his lengthy criminal history.

    Martin told Channel 9 on Monday that he never admitted to a crime.

    "That's what they tried to say on the news -- that I confessed to a rape. And I'm here to say no I didn't," he said. "I never just sat there. I never lurked around no bushes. I never sat there and waited for nobody and took no sexual things from no one."


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