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Man gets 30 years for raping senior in Tampa church

TAMPA — Demetreius M. Morris, who was accused of sexually assaulting a 70-year-old woman in a Sulphur Springs church, pleaded guilty Monday and was sentenced to 30 years in state prison followed by 10 years' probation.

Arrested in October 2012, Morris initially faced charges of sexual battery, kidnapping, lewd and lascivious battery on an elderly person and lewd and lascivious molestation of an elderly person. But while he was in the Orient Road Jail, it was discovered that he had been sending notes to someone saying he wanted to put a hit on the victim and her daughter. Law enforcement officials added a charge of solicitation to commit murder.

Morris pleaded guilty to all charges as his trial was about to begin.

The woman was attacked as she gave Morris a tour of the sanctuary of Living Word Fellowship, 8215 N 13th St., on Oct. 18, 2012.

Morris, now 28, was arrested by Tampa police after a DNA sample linked him to the rape. A DNA sample from Morris was already in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database because he had been arrested in 2002 and charged with a lewd and lascivious act on a child, records show.