A woman chased down the man who sexually assaulted her, and she rammed his car several times with her vehicle in order to stop him, according to cops in Gainesville, Florida. The April 2022 incident initially went unsolved because the defendant Telvin Sweeting, 31, fled the scene, but DNA evidence resulted in a CODIS match, police said.
The woman had been out drinking with friends in downtown Gainesville the night of April 15, according to the arrest affidavit. Last seen in the Simons nightclub, she woke up to find herself in the backseat of a male stranger’s car, police said.
“The VIC was lying on her back with her underwear, shorts and one boot removed,” police wrote. “The DEF was on top of the VIC, climbing off of her and pulling up his pants.”
She knew he had raped her, and she could feel what she identified as semen, cops said.
She did not consent to any sexual contact with him, officers said. The man — Sweeting — climbed into the driver’s seat, and when asked, told her they were at a park, according to the affidavit.
He allegedly told her his name was “Brandon.”
It was now about 4:45 a.m. on April 16, officers said. He allegedly drove her back to her car, but he had her keys and opened her vehicle’s door.
“The VIC immediately ran to her car and located her cellphone which was partially broken (it had not been broken earlier in the night),” police wrote. “She redialed the last person who called her and began telling them that she had been raped and spoke about calling the police. Meanwhile she was attempting to take photos of the DEF’s vehicle.”
Police said they confirmed she made the outgoing call.
“The DEF approached the VIC at this time and snatched her cellphone from her hand,” police wrote. “A tussle ensued when the VIC tried to retrieve her phone from the DEF as he got in his vehicle to leave. The VIC had 3 broken fingernails from the fight.”
But the woman managed to get in her vehicle and chased Sweeting’s car around the city, striking his car multiple times in order to stop him, officers said.
“The VIC ended up at 13 NW 10th Ave where she hit the DEF’s vehicle one final time and lost him,” police said.
She had a random person call 911 and law enforcement arrived to find her distraught and with broken fingernails, according to the affidavit. The woman described the suspect vehicle as a white four-door sedan, police said.
Authorities claim they were able to track down Sweeting because the DNA from the sexual assault kit returned a CODIS match for him. Alachua County records show he pleaded no contest in juvenile court to fleeing or eluding police with disregard of safety to persons or property. As a second-degree felony, this would have landed him on CODIS. He was also adjudicated guilty for the first-degree misdemeanor of resisting an officer without violence. Another 2009 case resulted him being adjudicated guilty for three second-degree misdemeanors: “no driver license – never had one,” reckless driving as a first offense, and hit-and-run in which defendant left the scene of a crash involving damage. A 2020 case for grand theft of a motor vehicle was dropped. A 2022 firearms and marijuana possession case is ongoing.
His registered car was seen on license plate readers before and after the incident, police claim. They showed no damage to his rear bumper in Gainesville on April 15, 2022, at 4:58 p.m., but a license plate reader in Lakeland showed damage on April 16 at 12:36 p.m.
“In this picture there is clear damage to the rear bumper of the DEF’s vehicle consistent with the VIC’s statement that she ran into the back of his vehicle,” officers said.
Sweeting was arrested on Sunday.
“Post Miranda, the DEF denied knowing the victim by name but said he sleeps with a lot of women,” officers said.
He allegedly denied remembering having sex with any women in the backseat of his car. He also denied taking the woman’s phone from her “or even having memory of such an incident,” police said.
“The DEF denied getting into a car crash to cause damage to his vehicle,” authorities said. “The DEF denied anyone intentionally hitting his vehicle with a car multiple times.”
According to documents, an officer pointed out the before-and-after license plate reader images. Sweeting allegedly said he was involved in a hit-and-run in Daytona, but the officer pointed out those pictures were from Gainesville and Lakeland. Sweeting “stopped wanting to talk,” officers said.
He is represented by a local public defender’s office for sexual battery and robbery by sudden snatching, records show.
“We typically do not comment on pending cases,” Stacy A. Scott, Public Defender of the Eight Judicial Circuit, told Law&Crime in an email.
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