Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

Tampa pharmacist, 27, accused of sexual battery of woman he met on Tinder

TAMPA — A pharmacist at a local hospital faces a charge of sexual battery after a woman told authorities she believed he drugged her before she lost consciousness in his apartment, according to Tampa police.

Robert Michael Woods, 27, was being held at the Hillsborough County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail after his arrest Saturday . No personal information about the woman was provided because of the nature of the crime.

Police gave this account of the incident:

Woods met the woman on the dating app Tinder and they agreed to meet at a downtown bar, the District Tavern at 116 N 12th St. She drank a beer and agreed to go to his apartment nearby for a party with his friends. There were no friends there when they arrived.

Woods offered to play a game: Don't let a balloon hit the ground or you'll have to take a drink of the highly alcoholic liquor absinthe. Then he spiked the balloon into the ground and poured her the drink, she told police. She drank it and stepped onto the balcony for a cigarette while he went into the bathroom for about five minutes.

She had no memory of what happened next, she said, until she awoke inebriated in Woods' bed. He told her that he had engaged in sex with her then he did so again.

She dressed and left, but backed her car into a fence and was unable to use a garage ticket machine. She believed she had been drugged, she told police.

She made her way to a hospital, where a sexual assault examination was completed and she was referred to a crisis center.

She messaged Woods to see what she had been given, according to police, and he replied, "Are you alive?"

"The victim replied that she was 'barely alive and the defendant ceased all conversation with the victim and deleted the victim from his Tinder/social media account,'" police said in a report.

The woman discovered new scrapes and bruising on her body that were not there when she blacked out, she said, as well as what appeared to be two injection sites on the left side of her neck.

On a jail booking sheet, Woods listed his occupation as pharmacist at St. Joseph's Hospital.

St. Joseph's confirmed he is a pharmacist there but had no immediate information on his employment status.

"The allegations are deeply disturbing, and we are taking this very seriously," spokeswoman Beth Hardy said in an email. "We are working with law enforcement."

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