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Police charge man with September rape in Ybor City

TAMPA — Police arrested a transient man Wednesday night who they say raped a young woman as she lay intoxicated and helpless in an Ybor City alley.

Lamark Rowell, 35, who has no listed address, was charged with sexual battery on someone physically helpless.

A 20-year-old woman had gone to the Full Moon Saloon after midnight on Sept. 25 with her twin sister and some friends, according to Tampa police.

But within 15 minutes, the heavily intoxicated woman vomited on herself and was ushered out of the crowded nightclub through a back door.

A short while later, a witness reported to Tampa Fire Rescue seeing a woman in an alley, naked from the waist down.

When police and an ambulance responded, the woman was uncooperative and refused to be taken to a hospital. She went to the front of the club and waited for her sister to come out and they left together.

The next day, the woman appeared at Tampa Police District III headquarters and reported the rape, police said.

DNA gathered from the woman's physical examination at a hospital was entered into a database and eventually returned a match to Rowell, said Laura McElroy, a police spokeswoman.

A warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday and an officer who knew he frequented Ybor City picked him up after 11 p.m.

"He confessed to being in the alleyway that night," McElroy said. But he has not said he was involved in the crime, she added.

Rowell was being held without bail in a Hillsborough County Jail. He's been in and out of prison four times since 1994, records show. Rowell has previously been convicted of grand theft, grand theft motor vehicle, cocaine possession, aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary of an unoccupied structure and possession of burglary tools.

Police charge man with September rape in Ybor City 02/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, February 10, 2011 10:27pm]
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