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Man charged in 2 sex attacks

Two women came forward two years apart to report the same crime: A man raped them in a dark parking lot.

Because the victim in the second attack came forward, authorities on Wednesday were able to charge a man in the first attack. That's because DNA evidence from both attacks pointed to the same man: Anthony Palazzolo.

The 26-year-old Port Richey man had already been arrested in April on a charge of sexual battery in this year's assault. After authorities matched his DNA to the 2004 attack, they charged him Wednesday with involuntary sexual battery and false imprisonment.

"Women sometimes don't report rapes," said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. "So the fact that they came forward to report is a big step."

A deputy found the victim in the February assault naked on Little Road. At a bar, a man had offered her a drink and a ride home, she said. But she passed out, and later awoke as the man was removing her clothing.

He raped her in a church parking lot off Little Road, she told deputies, then threw her from the vehicle.

In the October 2004 case, the victim said she was walking home when a man forced her into his black pickup and drove her behind Gulf View Square Mall. He removed her clothes, she said, then raped her.

Palazzolo is being held in the county jail without bond.

"We are continuing to ask (the Florida Department of Law Enforcement) to run his DNA results through the system," Doll said, "to see if there are any other matches."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at thalji@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6236.

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