Life in Prison for Sex Offender Who Invaded 15-Year-Old Girl’s Bedroom and Assaulted Her
FlaglerLive | May 23, 2012
Somewhere in St. Johns County on Sept. 6, 2010—the exact address is not revealed to protect the victim—sometime between 5 and 6 a.m., Freddie Felder, a resident of Hastings, donned a mask, climbed through the bedroom window of a 15-year-old girl, and raped her, according to an arrest report filed six months later.
He had a knife. He threatened the girl with harm if she didn’t submit. During the act, he choked the girl, ejaculated on her, then fled, leaving scratches on the victim’s neck—and plenty of DNA evidence.
When that evidence was run through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s lab, it led directly back to Felder, who in 2000 had been convicted of sexual battery on a child in the same age range as his latest victim. That assault had taken place in January 1998. He served five years, seven months and 23 days in prison. He was released in 2003. He’d also served two years in 1997 for resisting an officer with violence, and four earlier in the decade for an attempted armed robbery in 1992.
Felder, who was a registered sexual offender, was arrested in the front yard of his home in March 2011 and held on $1 million bond.
Today (May 23), Felder was sentenced to life in prison for the rape of the 15-year-old girl.
Felder was due for trial in that case. Just before trial began, he opted to plead no contest to a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a child younger than 16. The charge is a second-degree felony.
Assistant State Attorney Josh Alexander asked Circuit Judge Charles Tinlin to sentence the 36-year-old defendant to life in prison and declare him a sexual predator. A sentencing hearing immediately followed the defendant’s plea. Testimony from St. Johns County Sheriff Detective Steve Gazdick and testimony from the victim convinced Tinlin to accept the state’s recommendation, according to a release from the state attorney’s office.
“The defendant’s violent criminal acts are a chilling reminder that dangerous and violent predators prowl our communities,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said. “ The courageous victim’s testimony was compelling, persuasive and resulted in a life sentence for the defendant. He will no longer pose a threat to our communities.”