Rape kit test leads to arrest in 2006 Palm Bay rape case, police say

PALM BAY, Fla. — After more than a decade, Palm Bay police said they believe they have caught the man who raped a girl at gunpoint inside her home.

This weekend, 31-year-old David Dean, a convicted sex offender, was out of Department of Corrections custody and back in the Brevard County Jail, where he’s being held on new charges of armed sexual assault and burglary related to the 2006 rape of a then-16-year-old girl.

“The suspect snuck into the victim’s bedroom window, which was unlocked at the time. The victim was in her bed. The victim saw the suspect and the suspect said, ‘You know why I’m here,’” said John Resh, commander with the Palm Bay Police Department.


The investigator who filed the latest charges said the suspect sexually assaulted the victim while holding a firearm near her head.

Later, the victim became uncooperative and police had trouble locating her. The victim’s sexual assault kit was never sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing, which was accepted practice at the time.

A decade later, FDLE mandated that all sexual assault kits be tested unless a false allegation could be proven, which ultimately resulted in this arrest.

“She confided in our detectives that since the beginning, when it was originally reported, she felt that no one had believed her story,” said Resh.

Dean, who was previously convicted of the false imprisonment of a 6-year-old and is currently serving a 20-year sentence for another Palm Bay sexual battery, could spend the rest of his life in prison if he’s convicted on these new charges.

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