Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Victim recounts 2007 rape at knifepoint

TAMPA — A woman closed her eyes and moaned Tuesday as she recounted for jurors the night a stranger crept into her bedroom and raped her at knifepoint.

"Don't hurt me," she said.

"Shh, shh," the man whispered. "Don't say nothing, or I'll hurt the kids."

Prosecutors pinned the Aug. 19, 2007, attack on Jerrod Pass, who they said sexually battered at least seven women since 2003 in blighted neighborhoods near the University of South Florida.

Prosecutors say DNA links Pass to the crimes, and they say he matches the victims' common description of the rapist — a dark-skinned, barefoot man with a scar on his left forearm and body odor.

Pass, 39, is on trial this week for the first of the rape cases to be heard by a jury. His public defenders argue that he is innocent.

The 39-year-old woman who testified against Pass on Tuesday fit the mold of his alleged victims: single black mothers with young children in their homes. She worked as a nurse's aide at an assisted living facility and lived in an apartment complex located south of Fletcher Avenue. The St. Petersburg Times is withholding her name due to the nature of the crime.

She seemed to relive the attack as she spoke, her body squirming and flinching when she described the most painful moments.

She awoke to someone tugging on her feet, she said. Then she felt a knife at her neck.

Her young daughter slept in a nearby room. Worried for her child's safety after the man's threats, the woman said she did not fight or make any noise.

The man covered her head with pillows and bedding before raping her, she said.

She never got a good look at his face and was unable to point him out in court.

Pass, who sat expressionless throughout the testimony, was one of more than 50 men stopped and questioned by investigators who saturated the neighborhoods where the rapes occurred. He allowed a detective to take a swab of his DNA.

At the time, Pass was known as a friendly prep cook at a chain restaurant. He had a handful of misdemeanor arrests on his record.

But after analysts matched his DNA to various crime scenes, the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office charged him with a string of felony sexual batteries and armed burglaries.

The woman who testified Tuesday said Pass asked for money before he left.

Afterward, she realized that her purse and its contents were missing.

Assistant State Attorney Rita Peters said detectives found them in Pass' storage unit.

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

Victim recounts 2007 rape at knifepoint 06/16/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 17, 2009 9:45am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Deputies say Wesley Chapel man admitted to having child pornography


    WESLEY CHAPEL — A man admitted to possessing child pornography, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office, after authorities seized several computers, tablets, thumb drives, DVDs and cell phones from his property.

    Jeffrey D. Stanford was arrested on 10 counts of possessing child pornography. [Photo courtesy of Pasco Sheriff's Office]
  2. Scalise discharged from hospital, beginning rehabilitation


    WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise — who was critically wounded in a shooting at a baseball practice last month — has been discharged from a Washington hospital.

    House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise of La., speaks with the media on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 17, 2017. Scalise, critically wounded in a shooting at a baseball practice last month, has been discharged from a Washington hospital. [Associated Press]
  3. FWC identifies boaters seen dragging shark in viral video


    Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have identified the individuals shown on a viral video dragging a shark behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating a viral video that shows a shark being dragged behind a boat on a rope as men laugh each time its body slams the water. [Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  4. Steve Schale: Democrats and Republicans chose wisely for Miami senate race


    Democratic strategist Steve Schale breaks down the Florida Senate District 40 special election contest between Republican  Jose Felix 'Pepi' Diaz and Democrat  Annette Taddeo, saying primary voters chose right and that either could win. Diaz and Taddeo

  5. Atomic Blonde does not live up to its giant movie poster hype


    Beware of movies spending money selling one scene, like the Atomic Blonde poster big enough to block a restroom entry, as it has for a while at AMC Westshore 14.

    Charlize Theron, left, and Sofia Boutella in "Atomic Blonde." (Jonathan Prime/Focus Features via AP)