Police: DNA links 18-year-old to Clearwater rape

CLEARWATER — Police have arrested a second man accused of raping a Clearwater woman in March.

Clearwater police said Thursday they had arrested 18-year-old Stephen Brooks Steiner of 1924 Alton Drive, on a charge of sexual battery.

Steiner was taken to the Pinellas County Juvenile Assessment Center after his Aug. 12 arrest because he was a minor when the crime occurred, police said.

He and another man are accused of raping a 19-year-old woman. Jeremy Brown, 21, was later arrested on a first-degree murder charge after, authorities said, he stabbed a neighbor in Tarpon Springs more than 100 times in June.

According to police, Steiner and Brown went into the home of the 19-year-old woman who was acquainted with Brown at 4 a.m. March 22. Once inside, Brown and Steiner raped the woman, who was not identified because of the nature of the accusation, police said.

The woman was choked, scratched and bitten during the attack, according to Brown's arrest report.

DNA evidence linked both men to the crime, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts said.

Brown was charged in the rape in July. He has been held in the Pinellas County Jail without bail since Tarpon Springs police arrested him June 26 on the murder charge.

Police said Brown fatally stabbed his neighbor, 48-year-old Paul Wiggins, at Hillside Mobile Home Park on June 24. Police said Wiggins suffered more than 100 stab wounds to his neck, face and hands.

Police said Brown told at least three people that he intended to kill Wiggins and said he believed Wiggins had assaulted and harassed his aunt.

Wiggins' sister told the St. Petersburg Times her brother was mentally disabled.

Steiner was accused of burglary in 2009, but the charge was later dropped, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He has no other criminal record in the state, records show.

Police: DNA links 18-year-old to Clearwater rape 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 8:41pm]

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