POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man suspected of breaking into a Polk County woman’s home and sexually assaulting her at gunpoint is in custody, after the victim’s roommate caught the man breaking into the victim’s home a second time.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call Sunday around 5 a.m. about an armed home invasion and sexual assault.
Deputies say Jerald Dixon Jr. had entered the home through a bedroom window after removing the window air conditioning unit. Dixon then wrapped a t-shirt over his face to conceal his identity when he approached a 23-year-old woman in the home.
The woman told deputies that Dixon pointed a gun at her and then sexually assaulted her.
After the assault, Dixon allegedly pointed the firearm at the victim and told her to walk him out of the residence. After she walked him out of her home, the victim locked the door and went to get one of her roommates to help her.
At that point, according to arrest documents, Dixon climbed back in the window.
“The suspect was still there and one of the roommates was holding him down for us. We were able to take him into custody,” PSCO spokesperson Carrie Horstman told News Channel 8.
Dixon was arrested and charged with armed burglary with an assault or battery and sexual battery with a deadly weapon.
Deputies say Dixon admitted he was in possession of a gun during the attack, but he denied pointing the firearm at the victim.
“We want to send a message to the public. If somebody’s trying to break into your house, moving a window AC unit out, for example, you should run immediately from the room and get help,” Horstman said.
Dixon also told investigators that he and the woman had consensual sexual intercourse. Detectives say that Dixon told them he had met the victim one year ago, but did not know her name.
“It’s not really about sex. It’s about power and control. The perpetrator is looking to control the situation,” Peace River Center Crisis Director Kirk Fasshauer said.
Fasshauer helps victims of trauma and crisis.
Fasshauer said the victim’s fight is not over.
“She is going to have nightmares for a while as part of the post-traumatic stress from this,” he said. “She may have some difficulty with trusting in relationships as well.”
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