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Broken car door handle helps Tampa police link sexual assaults three years apart

A woman said she was sexually assaulted earlier this year. That led police to link her attack to a 2016 assault.

TAMPA ― A woman who was sexually assaulted in March helped police solve a sexual assault that took place in 2016.

Now a 41-year-old man faces charges in both attacks, according to Tampa police.

Roytaner Joners Williams was arrested this month on two counts of sexual battery and two counts of false imprisonment.

The first assault took place on March 11, 2016. A woman told police a man approached her and offered her a ride home. She declined. Then the man forced her into his vehicle, police said. She found herself trapped because the passenger door’s inside handle was broken, wrapped in duct tape and wouldn’t open. He sexually assaulted her in the car, she told police.

The second assault took place on March 14, 2019. A woman said she met Williams in a Tampa park. He said his name was “John." Later, they took a ride in his car. He gave her a drink, which the woman said left her feeling disoriented. She asked Williams to take her home, and said he refused.

She said she passed out, police said, then awoke to being sexually assaulted by Williams. The woman in the 2019 attack also told police that the passenger door’s broken inside handle was covered in duct tape. That and other details the woman shared about the car led investigators to link her assault to the 2016 attack.

Williams denied the allegations in the 2019 assault and denied she was ever in his car, police said, but surveillance video contradicted his story. He has since been linked to both assaults through DNA testing, police said, and was arrested on Oct. 3. He was being held in the Hillsborough County jail on Tuesday in lieu of $520,000 bail.

Anyone else who has information about Williams or who believes he assaulted them is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at (813) 231-6130.