Casselberry rape suspect has first appearance in Orange County, faces charges in 3 counties

Police: Benjamin Hovan, 32, started state-wide crime spree in Tallahassee

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The man accused in the June home invasion, rape and kidnapping of two Cassleberry women appeared before a judge Saturday, where he was assigned a public defender.

Benjamin Hovan, 32, was arrested July 5 at a Titusville gas station after he was spotted in a stolen car from Miami. He is accused of committing crimes across the state, beginning in Tallahassee.

Before his arrest, Hovan was wanted on charges of home invasion, sexual battery and kidnapping after Casselberry police said he forced his way into a unit at Stonecastle Apartments, held the two women inside at knifepoint, raped one of them and then forced them to drive him to a Publix in Maitland to get cash from an ATM. Police said he then stole a car from one of the women.

After his arrest, Hovan was then connected to an additional carjacking in Maitland, a home invasion in Tallahassee and another home burglary.

[READ: Casselberry rape suspect told father he'd done something bad, police say]

Hovan was taken to Brevard County Jail, but resisting arrest charges were dropped, and he was then extradited to Orange County Jail Tuesday.

During his first appearance Wednesday, Hovan told the judge he was homeless and had no income.

Hovan is charged with two counts of kidnapping, one count of carjacking with a firearm or weapon, armed robbery with a weapon, attempted armed robbery with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The judge granted him $50,000 bond on the first two counts, no bond on the second two counts and $2,500 bond on the final two counts.

Hovan will be extradited again to either Seminole, Leon or Dade Counties to address charges for other crimes.