GPD: Man arrested after breaking into home, raping woman


Published: Friday, August 10, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, August 10, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.

A University of Florida student was forced at knifepoint to tie up her boyfriend early Friday morning and then was raped in their southeast Gainesville home.

The rapist fled with $45, police said, and was captured just yards from the home, reeking of bleach and bleeding profusely from his right index finger.

Police said Robert B. Kirksey Jr., 23, of Gainesville, admitted committing the crimes and told detectives he was sorry for what he had done. He was charged with sexual battery with a weapon and home invasion robbery with a weapon.

GPD Detective David Fisher said Kirksey had entered the home just off Southeast Second Avenue to commit a robbery. As for his professed motives, Fisher said, "one of the reasons was that he was fiending for drugs and needed money."

According to an arrest report and police interviews, the victims gave the following account of the crime:

The man and woman — both UF students — were lying in bed when the stranger came into their bedroom. The robber, who had broken in through the back door, had a white shirt around his head and was carrying a 9-inch-long chef's knife from the kitchen.

He threatened them with the knife and demanded money. The male victim gave him $45 from his wallet, but the robber was not satisfied. He held the knife to the woman's throat and demanded more. She told him she didn't have any more and begged him to leave.

He cut power cords from a bedroom lamp and fan and made the woman tie her boyfriend to the bed. Then he held the knife to her side and forced her into the living room to look for more cords with which to bind her.

When he said he was going to take her laptop, the woman struggled with him over it. She grabbed the knife and pulled the shirt from his face. During the struggle, he cut his finger.

Immediately, the robber threw her to the floor and put the knife to her throat. He made the woman get bleach from the kitchen, and he poured it around the home.

Putting the knife to her neck, he raped her twice. She screamed and begged him, "Do not do this," but he hit her on the head and choked her while yelling at her to "shut up."

Afterward, he poured bleach on her and elsewhere, forced her to lie down on the kitchen floor, and then he left through the back kitchen door.

The male victim was able to loosen his cords while the assault was going on and called 911 at 6:23 a.m., GPD Lt. Will Halvosa said. In whispered tones, the caller gave the dispatcher some information about the robbery, including their general location, but then the cellphone call ended.

Officer Tommy Harrison and an officer trainee on his first day on the job responded to the dropped call and searched the neighborhood. As the officers were preparing to clear out, they saw Kirksey walking away from them, bleeding profusely from his hand.

They stopped him and were talking with him when a second call came in about the home invasion and rape. The woman had gone back into the bedroom, Halvosa said, and got her boyfriend to place the call.

The officers detained Kirksey. The victims came from their home — just 50 yards away — and identified Kirksey as the attacker, Halvosa said.

According to the arrest report, Kirksey admitted to the break-in, the robbery and the rape.

The rape victim was at a hospital Friday afternoon. Fisher said she was in fair condition and stable.

"She appears to be a very strong fighter," he said.

At about 3 p.m. Friday — after his interrogation but before his clothing was seized as evidence — Kirksey sat shirtless in handcuffs smoking a cigarette on the back steps of the GPD detective bureau while officers stood by on either side.

His hands and tennis shoes were splattered with blood, his eyes were bloodshot, and his right index finger was wrapped in a large bandage.

He didn't want to talk to reporters, he said. He also said he didn't want to be videotaped.

After a couple of cigarettes, he stood and was led back inside with his bleach-stained shorts hanging low down on his boxers.

Halvosa said Kirksey has six prior convictions for misdemeanors and numerous felony arrests but no felony convictions.

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