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Man accused of sexually battering, imprisoning woman at Largo massage business

The woman was able to escape after about 50 minutes. Police reviewed video surveillance they say corroborates her account.
Largo police said Denus Vondell Harris Jr. attacked a woman at a massage business, where he sexually battered her and imprisoned her for nearly an hour. The photo on the left his from surveillance video at the business; the photo on the right is Harris' booking photo. [Pinellas County Jail]
Largo police said Denus Vondell Harris Jr. attacked a woman at a massage business, where he sexually battered her and imprisoned her for nearly an hour. The photo on the left his from surveillance video at the business; the photo on the right is Harris' booking photo. [Pinellas County Jail]
Published Dec. 11, 2019

Largo police have arrested a man they say violently attacked and sexually battered a woman at a massage business in their city.

Denus Vondell Harris Jr., 20, who has a Largo address, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and booked into the Pinellas County jail on charges of sexual battery, false imprisonment and strong-arm robbery. He was being held there on $70,000 bail Wednesday.

The attack occurred at a Largo massage business on East Bay Drive on Sunday evening. Police have not released the name of the business or its exact location. They also have not released the name of the woman because of the nature of the incident.

According to arrest reports, Harris went into the business at about 5:25 p.m. Sunday. He forced the woman into a room, where he sexually battered her. The woman tried to fight him off but could not, arrest reports state.

After about 50 minutes, she was able to escape the room and the business, arrest reports state.

Harris then went through her backpack and took between $2,500 and $3,000 in cash that she had there, arrest reports state.

Police reviewed surveillance video from inside the business and saw what happened. Harris "was viewed forcefully picking up the victim off of her feet ... The victim is observed attempting to escape (Harris) by attempting to exit his grasps utilizing her arms and even grabbing the door frame of the door before (Harris) forcefully moves her inside the room,” an arrest report states.

Video also showed Harris leaving the back of the business with cash in his hand, reports state.

Police released still images of the attacker to the media. Arrest reports don’t indicate exactly how police developed Harris as a suspect, but once they did, he admitted “to performing various sexual acts with the victim,” arrest reports state.

No court dates had been set for Harris nor had a plea been entered on his behalf.

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