Windermere serial rape suspect's lawyer drops case

Police search for sexual assault victims

WINDERMERE, Fla. - Leslie Sweet, the lawyer who jumped in to defend the man Windermere police call a serial rapist, tells Local 6 she quit the case on Friday.

Sweet would not explicitly explain her decision, but told Local 6 reporter Evan Lambert she got a text from 48-year-old Darryl Patterson Friday morning and "does not play games."

Meanwhile, investigators say several more women have come forward accusing Patterson of rape or attempted rape. The new allegations come after police named Patterson a suspect in several other rape cases Thursday.

Police say it began with a review of a previously dropped rape investigation from 2012. Police Chief David Ogden admits the department he hadn't yet run at the time, did sloppy police work and closed the case prematurely.

Ogden says this month another woman came forward alleging Patterson tried to drug and rape her, but she was able to get away. That's when police began building a case.

Detective John Allen is leading the investigation and says he interviewed several more women Friday. He says they could be potential victims.

Local 6 has also learned Patterson was involved in a crime in 2009 in Orange County, but as a victim.

According to a police report, two men broke into his now ex-girlfriend's house, robbed then sexually assaulted her in front of him.? Friends tell Local 6 Patterson hasn't been the same since that experience.

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