Clearwater man accused of raping, impregnating 14-year-old girl

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man accused of raping and impregnating a 14-year-old girl was arrested Wednesday in St. Petersburg after nearly a year on the lam, authorities said.

Anthony Lydell Rucker, 39, of 29 N Hillcrest Ave., was charged with sexual battery, resisting an officer without violence, and failure to appear on a probation violation. On Thursday evening, he was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.

According to an arrest warrant, Rucker sexually assaulted the girl, who was known to him, at an apartment complex in Clearwater in April 2010. The girl, who lived in Hillsborough County, was visiting someone in Pinellas County when the assault occurred, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

The assault was reported to Hillsborough deputies on June 10, 2010. During an interview, the girl identified Rucker as the man who raped her, authorities said.

The girl had an abortion on June 17, 2010. Hillsborough detectives took custody of the embryo for testing.

Because the rape happened in Clearwater, Hillsborough authorities contacted the Clearwater Police Department, which took over the case.

Clearwater police interviewed Rucker, who denied he had any sexual contact with the girl. But police got a search warrant to get a saliva sample and sent it for forensic testing. Lab results showed a DNA match between Rucker and the embryo, according to the warrant.

Rucker fled the area before Clearwater police could arrest him, an arrest report shows. In January, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Clearwater police had been unable to locate Rucker.

On Wednesday, St. Petersburg police received a call saying Rucker was at a home in their jurisdiction.

It was unclear Thursday if the call came from Clearwater authorities or an anonymous tip.

St. Petersburg police went to the home in the 2400 block of 15th Avenue North, found Rucker and arrested him.

Clearwater man accused of raping, impregnating 14-year-old girl 12/22/11 [Last modified: Thursday, December 22, 2011 7:50pm]

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