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Acquaintance is charged in Clearwater woman's rape

Published Sep. 13, 2005

A Clearwater woman endured an attack that lasted hours and included multiple rapes early Monday when a man broke into her apartment.

The 34-year-old woman sustained face, head, neck and other injuries, but did not require hospitalization.

A man Clearwater detectives say knew the woman was arrested later in St. Petersburg after a brief chase outside his house.

Loc Buu Tran, 22, of 5580 24th Ter. N was charged with three counts of sexual battery, battery, kidnapping, burglary and evidence tampering.

He was being held Tuesday without bail at Pinellas County Jail.

The attack started about 1:30 a.m. in the woman's north Clearwater apartment and lasted until she made her way to a neighbor's four hours later.

"It could easily have been a homicide," Detective Stephen Bohling said.

He said the attack started on the apartment's first floor and ended in a bedroom on the second floor.

Tran is accused of threatening to harm a child who was asleep in the apartment if the woman resisted.

The woman's attacker got into her apartment through a partly open window while she was showering. He hid and attacked her after she got out of the bathroom and went downstairs to check out noises.

The man threw her to the floor and then put her on a couch, according to police.

He hit her in the face and head, using a towel around her face to keep her quiet.

She was forced into a bedroom where her hands and feet were bound, and she was raped, according to records.

Her attacker tried to eliminate evidence of the attack by washing clothing, linens and the woman's body.

After ripping telephone cords from walls, he left the apartment. She was still bound, but managed to free her ankles and sought help.