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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bail denied for Marion teen accused of sexually assaulting 91-year-old neighbor

A 14-year-old boy accused of entering a 91-year-old neighbor’s home and sexually assaulting the woman in her bed, leaving her covered in blood and bruises, will remain in custody after he was denied bail by the judge in his case. 

On Tuesday, July 2, a Marion County judge ruled that Jesse Stone, 14, should remain in pretrial detention while his case is pending. Stone was arrested last month in connection with the assault of an elderly woman.

According to the arrest report, a 91-year-old woman called 911 on Sunday, June 9, in the early morning hours, to report that an unknown male suspect had sexually battered her inside her home. She stated that the suspect fled from her house after the assault.

Law enforcement officers arrived a short time thereafter and made contact with the victim, noting that she had several physical injuries to her face and body. The victim was taken to a local hospital.

A Marion County Sheriff’s Office detective made contact with the victim at the hospital and noted that she was wearing a cervical collar, and her left forearm was bandaged. In addition, the victim had “visible red and purple discoloration” on her upper right arm, swelling and bruising on the right side of her face, and dried blood was observed on her bottom lip, right cheek, forehead, and on the bridge of her nose.

According to the victim’s statement, she woke up shortly before midnight on Saturday, June 8, and saw a “dark shadow” that was approaching her bedroom. She stated that the male suspect, later identified as Stone, then “pounced” on top of her.

When the victim began trying to push him away, she stated that Stone punched her in the face. When she told him to leave her alone, he allegedly told her to “shut up” and continued attacking her, according to the report.

The victim further alleged that Stone “tore off” her underwear and “penetrated her” several times with his fingers. Eventually, the victim stated that Stone stopped the sexual assault and left the residence.

During an interview with law enforcement, the victim stated that earlier in the day on Saturday, a “neighborhood youth,” identified as Stone, had come over to her house and spoken with her. She stated that she has known Stone since he was younger, and she generally described him as being a “good boy.” She denied ever having any issues with him and stated that she enjoyed spending time talking with him.

The report stated that no sign of forced entry was found at the home. In the victim’s bedroom, law enforcement observed “large spots of suspected blood” on the bed, and blood was also smeared on the wall behind the bed.

While conducting an investigation, an MCSO detective spotted Stone in the victim’s neighborhood and spoke with him. Stone told the detective that he had been outside the night prior to the incident, though he claimed that he was looking at cars that were traveling in the area, according to the report.

The detective noted in the report that a DNA sample was obtained from Stone, and further testing was conducted on the victim’s underwear. On Monday, June 17, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement informed the sheriff’s office that the victim’s underwear contained DNA from “two donors, including the victim,” and Stone was listed as a “possible contributor to the mixed DNA profile.”

Later that same day, law enforcement located Stone at North Marion High School, and he was transported to MCSO headquarters for questioning. After being read his Miranda rights, Stone admitted to unlawfully entering the victim’s home via an unlocked door and utilizing her iPad to watch pornography. He further admitted to entering the victim’s bedroom, punching her, removing her underwear, and penetrating her vagina with his fingers multiple times before leaving the home, according to the report.

Stone was arrested and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice. He is being charged with sexual assault and burglary with a battery, which are both felonies.

On Tuesday, July 30, Stone is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. for an arraignment hearing, according to Marion County court records.