Deputies: Man admits to rape in Riverview

By Jessica Vander Velde, Times Staff Writer
Published February 29, 2008

RIVERVIEW - A 20-year-old Riverview man was arrested Thursday in connection with a January rape.

Marcus Christian Pate admitted entering a house in Riverview's Bloomingdale Hills neighborhood through an unlocked window about 10 p.m. Jan. 11, Hillsborough sheriff's deputies said. Once inside, he sexually battered a 24-year-old woman, deputies said.

Investigators used DNA evidence from the crime scene to match Pate to the rape. A warrant was issued Tuesday, and a Hillsborough detective traveled to Danville, Va., where Pate attends Averett University on a football scholarship.

He was arrested by Danville police Thursday. That's when he confessed to the offense, officials said.

Pate was charged with sexual battery, false imprisonment and burglary with assault. They are all felony charges. Pate is being brought back to Hillsborough County.

Pate was an acquaintance of the victim's, officials said. He had introduced himself to her while walking through the Bloomingdale Hills neighborhood, where his family lives.

Pate was a wide receiver for Averett University's football team, according to the 2007 roster. He attended Riverview High School and had no prior arrests in Florida.

Several attempts to reach his family were unsuccessful.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or 813 661-2443.