Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Homeless man linked to Halloween sexual assault from two years ago, St. Petersburg police say

ST. PETERSBURG — A DNA test has linked a 21-year-old man to the rape of a young girl on Halloween night two years ago, police said.

Samuel James Morales, who is listed as a transient, was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Monday on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery.

Morales is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in the city Oct. 31, 2010, according to an arrest affidavit. On that date, officers found the young girl intoxicated at a convenience store, police spokesman Mike Puetz said. The girl didn't mention an assault, and was returned to her parents.

Two days later, the family reported the assault. Puetz said reports about the incident indicate the girl admitted to partying with Morales, who was then 19.

She said he had given her drugs and alcohol, and that she had passed out. When she woke, she thought something sexual occurred, but wasn't sure what.

Initial items of evidence police submitted for DNA evidence came back negative, Puetz said. But a lab did find Morales' sperm on the girl's underwear, according to an arrest affidavit.

It was unclear Tuesday why there was such a gap between the incident and Morales' arrest. Morales has been arrested a handful of time in the past couple years, records show, accused of crimes including stalking and criminal mischief.

Homeless man linked to Halloween sexual assault from two years ago, St. Petersburg police say 12/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 5:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote


    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to


    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter


    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.