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Trial to begin in rape of 68-year-old Pasco County woman

DADE CITY — Bobby Lee Black III, a convicted rapist sentenced to life in prison three times over, is set to face a jury again this week.

Prosecutors say that late on March 1, 2007, Black and friend Jathniel McMichael crawled through a window into a 66-year-old woman's Zephyrhills home, rifled through her belongings, then dragged her out of bed, held her at knifepoint and each raped her.

A few weeks later, authorities said, Black and McMichael attacked again.

That time, a 68-year-old woman said two masked men kidnapped her from her Zephyrhills mobile home, took turns raping her, then threw her into a dark, water-filled quarry. They pushed her van in after her and left her for dead.

Black, now 21, and McMichael, now 20, were arrested a few weeks later and charged in both attacks. McMichael, still faces trial in both cases. Black went to trial last April in the first rape. Both victims testified to demonstrate the similarity between the two incidents. Neither woman could identify her attackers because they wore masks and hoods.

But prosecutors had a semen sample taken from the first victim, which a DNA analyst matched to Black. The odds it came from anyone else: 1 in 330 trillion.

The jury took just 45 minutes to find him guilty, and Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa gave Black the only sentence he could: three consecutive life sentences for home invasion robbery, two counts of sexual battery and battery on a person over 65.

That's just for the first rape. His trial in the second attack is set to begin today.

The victim in that case suffered a series of strokes since she was assaulted but she has recovered and is expected to testify. The other victim will take the stand, too. Black again faces life in prison.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Trial to begin in rape of 68-year-old Pasco County woman 01/24/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 24, 2010 10:35pm]
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