77ºF

Case against accused Windermere rapist in jeopardy

State must prove sexual battery occurred within statute of limitations

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – One of the state's cases against a Windermere man about to go on trial for allegedly raping two unconscious women while videotaping the incidents is in jeopardy after an Orange County judge ruled Wednesday that the state must prove when the rape occurred, not when it was reported.

Darryl Patterson was in court Wednesday as his public defender argued to dismiss six counts of sexual battery filed against him, claiming the statute of limitations to file first-degree felony charges expired months before Patterson was arrested.

Patterson's attorney said the state attorney's office waited too long to file criminal charges in one of the cases against him.

In the case in question, Patterson is accused of raping a woman and taping it between October 2009 and April 30, 2012. The defense said those dates are past the four-year statute of limitations to charge him.

Windermere police said the second victim was raped in 2015.

The state tried proving to a judge otherwise using prior case examples, and acknowledging that the crimes weren't discovered until well after they were committed, considering the nature of the crimes.
 
"It is clearly the intent of the legislator that particularly in sex crimes, when things are found out later, the defendant shouldn't get the benefit of a statute of limitations that allows him to get away with something," the assistant state attorney said.
 
Patterson's victim didn't find out about the videos and identify herself until early 2016, which is within the statute of limitations, but the judge ultimately ruled that the burden lies with the state to prove when the actual rape happened and not when she found out.

The judgment narrows the time frame to a very small window, putting the case against Patterson in jeopardy.

Patterson is scheduled to go on trial for both crimes on Jan. 16.