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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Homeless man arrested for raping elderly woman in her apartment

The Ocala Police Department arrested a 31-year-old homeless man on Friday morning after he was accused of raping an 80-year-old woman in her apartment.

According to OPD, Taquino Williams was seen wandering around the Saddleworth Green Apartments common areas on Wednesday evening. Sometime before 9:50 p.m., Williams approached the victim’s apartment, gained entry to the lanai area through a torn screen window, and then entered the residence through an unlocked side door.

Taquino Williams
Taquino Williams

Williams then found the victim inside her bedroom and proceeded to rape her, according to police. The victim, who is battling cancer, did not know the attacker.

Once the incident was reported to the police department, detectives immediately launched an investigation. Through multiple surveillance videos and investigative techniques, detectives were able to identify the suspect as Williams, according to OPD.

Homeless man arrested for raping elderly woman in her apartment
The suspect was captured on video surveillance footage around the time of the incident on February 1, 2023

On Friday morning, at around 6:15 a.m., an OPD officer was walking around the Berkshire Oaks Shopping Plaza when Williams was spotted and taken into custody. He was transported to OPD headquarters for an interview.

Homeless man arrested for raping elderly woman in her apartment 1
OPD officers taking Williams into custody (Photo: Ocala Police Department)

After being read his Miranda rights, Williams admitted to being at the apartment complex on Wednesday, and he further admitted that he entered the victim’s apartment through a window. He told investigators that he was unsure why he raped the victim and stated that he “feels ashamed,” according to the OPD report.

During the interview with OPD investigators, Williams also stated that he had previously entered other residences, though he claimed that no one was home during those incidents.

Williams was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. He is facing felony charges for armed sexual battery (without a firearm), armed burglary (without a firearm), and possession of burglary tools.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.

The Ocala Police Department released the following statement after Williams’ arrest: “Our hearts go out to the victim who has been left traumatized by this violent crime. We are proud of the impressive investigative work of our detectives and officers that led to a swift arrest in this case. Every detective, officer, and staff involved are to be commended, as they serve as a sign that heinous acts like this are taken very seriously and that our agency will always work hard to hold criminals responsible for their actions.”