ORLANDO, Fla. - A Windermere man who is about to go on trial for allegedly raping two unconscious women while videotaping the incidents now claims prosecutors waited too long to file criminal charges in one of the cases.
An attorney for Darryl Patterson will ask a judge Thursday morning 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.
In 2015, Windermere Police released photos of several women in hopes of identifying them and checking on their well-being.
Authorities later revealed that the women, who appeared to be unconscious, had been raped while the attacker recorded video of the crimes.
In June 2016, more than a year after police first sought the public’s help in locating the women, detectives said they had gathered enough evidence to arrest Patterson for one of the rapes.
Prosecutors believe the victim, who claimed she did not remember having sex with Patterson, was battered on two different occasions sometime between October 2009 and April 2012.
In a motion filed last month, Patterson’s attorney argued that, at the time of the alleged crime, prosecutors were required to file charges within four years after the commission of a first-degree felony such as sexual battery.
“When you look at the motion they raised, it looks like the defense has a pretty good motion,” said News 6 legal analyst Steven Kramer.
Kramer also noted that there are exceptions to the statute of limitations.
“Sexual battery cases are not treated the same as every other felony out there,” Kramer said. “Look at the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Look at the allegations against Bill Cosby. Look at all these instances where you have victims that go back a number of years.”
In 2015, after Patterson’s alleged crimes occurred, the Florida Legislature expanded the statute of limitations for sexual battery to eight years.
Prosecutors did not respond to Patterson’s motion in writing, so it is unclear whether they believe the expanded time frame applies to Patterson’s case.
Patterson is also accused of raping a second woman in December 2012.
In that case, prosecutors filed sexual battery charges within four years of the alleged crime.
Patterson is scheduled to go on trial for both crimes on Jan. 16.
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