Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Sex abuse trial may hinge on victim's testimony

Lwane Allen Mansell was suspected in other assaults.

Lwane Allen Mansell was suspected in other assaults.

TAMPA — Prosecutors have long considered Lwane Mansell a danger to the community, saying he preyed on poor and immigrant children.

But they couldn't prove it.

Four times since 1990, allegations of sexual crimes by the 55-year-old Dover man went nowhere because victims refused to cooperate, were too young to testify or couldn't be located. He served only probation for a lewd and lascivious act in the 1970s.

A 12-year-old girl's testimony could alter his fate.

On Tuesday, she told a jury that Mansell showed up at her Plant City trailer in December 2006 and offered to take her to Sunday school. He called himself a pastor.

He took her to his home instead, where she was allowed to feed, pet and ride his horse Ryker. He gave her clothes and a toy. The way he smiled at her during the visits "was kind of creepy," she recalled.

On her third visit, he asked for something in return, she said. He brought her into his bedroom, where he put his hands on her thighs and breast. She asked to go home.

"He said he would pay me $50 to help with the horses and $10 to let him touch me," she said in a quiet voice from the witness stand. "He said not to tell anyone."

She told her mother anyway.

When a deputy went to question Mansell, he said, "I'll talk to you, but I won't tell you some things."

He said he had hugged the little girl but never fondled her.

The Hillsborough State Attorney's Office charged him with luring or enticing a child, lewd and lascivious conduct and soliciting lewd and lascivious conduct.

Attorneys will give their closing arguments this morning.

No matter what the verdict, Mansell won't be in the clear.

While out on bail, Mansell molested two other child­ren, prosecutor Dereck Capaz said. He had hired the children's father to cut his grass and, while babysitting the man's children, abused them, the prosecutor said.

Capital sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation charges were filed for that incident.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached
at or
(813) 226-3337.

Sex abuse trial may hinge on victim's testimony 03/04/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 5:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Johnny Depp asks about assassinating the president at Glastonbury Festival (w/video)


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp has asked a crowd at the Glastonbury Festival when was the last time an actor assassinated a president. The remarks came during a segment Thursday in which Depp was speaking about President Donald Trump.

    Actor Johnny Depp introduces a film at the Glastonbury music festival at Worthy Farm, in Somerset, England, Thursday, June 22, 2017. [Grant Pollard | Invision/AP]
  2. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's



  3. Florida education news: Charter schools, traveling man, lunch prices and more


    #HB7069: Now that it's law, HB 7069 has a new target on its back: Will it be challenged in court? Broward County Democrat Sen. Gary Farmer says he's doing all he can "to …

    Thousands of children attend Florida charter schools, which are growing in number and now stand to receive capital projects local tax revenue.
  4. Forecast: Hot, humid and mostly dry conditions prevail for St. Pete Pride weekend


    The threat of any lingering effects from Tropical Storm Cindy have passed, leaving behind a relatively dry — but hot and humid — St. Pete Pride weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7-day forecast [WTSP]
  5. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'


    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have …

    Florida Insider Poll