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Man, 24, charged with rape

Published January 11, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG - Police say Eddy A. Martinez had been in town only three days when he became a suspect in a Dec. 22 home burglary.

It got worse.

On Tuesday, police announced Martinez had been arrested after a 50-year-old woman said he walked her home, beat and raped her, then put her in the bathroom as he rummaged for jewelry, CDs and DVDs.

"She's unrecognizable from her driver's license," Detective Bill Burris said. "It was very, very vicious."

The victim later called 911 and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where she underwent several facial surgeries to repair injuries suffered during the Jan. 3 attack, police said.

Police said the victim was sitting at Rookie's Sports Cafe on Fourth Street N the evening of Jan. 2 with a 57-year-old disabled woman. They were at an outside table when Martinez, 24, came over.

He made some people at the table uncomfortable, police said. "One lady said just the look of him made her nervous," Burris said.

Martinez has a lengthy arrest record and was released from a jail near Miami late last year after serving time on a domestic battery charge.

At some point the disabled woman, who uses a walker, decided to go home. The victim offered to help her cross Fourth Street and Martinez went along, police said.

Then Martinez offered to walk the victim to her home nearby.

"The victim said goodbye to the suspect and unlocked the door, at which time the suspect forced his way inside her home and demanded sex," according to a news release. "When the victim refused, the suspect violently beat her about the head and then sexually battered her. Afterward, the suspect placed her in the bathroom and rummaged through her home for several hours before stealing some of her jewelry."

Detectives identified Martinez as the suspect using fingerprint evidence at the scene and by showing his picture to the victim and witnesses at the bar.

Martinez was arrested Friday outside his apartment at 200 78th Ave N, Apt. 54. He refused to talk to investigators. Inside the apartment, detectives found property and jewelry, some of which belonged to the victim.

He was being held Tuesday in the Pinellas County Jail on $120,000 bail.

Police ask anyone with information about Martinez to call 893-4035.

[Last modified January 11, 2006, 00:40:10]

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