Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Convicted sex offender accused of using knife in Lealman sexual battery

ST. PETERSBURG — A 52-year-old convicted sex offender was arrested early Thursday after he raped a woman at knifepoint, deputies said.

Eric Jerome Smith of St. Petersburg was arrested just before 1:45 a.m. near Park Boulevard and U.S. 19 N, an hour after deputies found a 41-year-old woman partially nude and "visibly shaken" outside a church at 2825 58th Ave. N in Lealman.

Officials think that's where the attack occurred.

The victim's identity was not released given the nature of the crime. She and Smith did not know each other, said Pinellas sheriff's Sgt. David Disano.

During the sexual battery, deputies said, Smith threatened the woman with a knife and cut her left hand. She was hospitalized and released overnight, Disano said.

Smith is being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bond on charges of sexual battery with a deadly weapon and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

According to Florida's sex offender registry, Smith was convicted of two counts of rape in Illinois in 1988. He has recently been living in the 2500 block of 54th Avenue N.

His arrest came just hours after Clearwater police arrested Larry Wayne Coburn Jr., an ex-convict with a history of violent crime, in the alleged kidnapping and sexual assault of two women at gunpoint.

Both incidents were random and the victims did not know their attackers, police said.

Court records from Cook County, Ill., show Smith was charged in 1998 with one count of sexual violence. He was convicted, but officials determined he was unlikely to re-offend. It was unclear Thursday if he served any prison time.

Smith has also been arrested several times in Illinois and Florida over the last 20 years for failure to report a change of address as a registered sex offender.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at mlang@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8804.

Convicted sex offender accused of using knife in Lealman sexual battery 04/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 10:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.