Area man arrested in rape of woman

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 1:18 a.m.

A Hawthorne man was booked into the Alachua County jail Tuesday night on charges of sexual battery and kidnapping stemming from an October incident involving a woman who ran out of gas near Hawthorne and was raped by a man who said he'd help her.

The woman, a Bradford County resident, was driving south on U.S. 301 past Hawthorne shortly after midnight Oct. 11 when she realized the car was almost out of gas, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office report.

When she pulled off the road, two men drove up behind her and offered to help. They siphoned some of their gas into her car. One of the men drove off in his car and the other said he would go with her to a gas station.

But after the first man left, the second man turned the woman's car off and raped her, according to the Sheriff's Office report. He then took her to the Lake Lochloosa boat launch park and raped her again. He left her there and took her car.

Randall Claude Stevens, 34, was arrested later that day on drug charges in Putnam County and authorities found him driving the woman's car, according to the report. The woman positively identified Stevens as her attacker in a photo lineup.

Stevens was being held at the Putnam County jail until Tuesday, when he was transferred to the Alachua County jail on the sexual battery and kidnapping charges. He is being held with no bond for a violation of parole.

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