Kwentel Lakelvrick Moultrie is a 21-year-old resident of 129 Brittany lane in Palm Coast. He’s been arrested four times on misdemeanor charges and his name has appeared in 13 cases the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has investigated, according to detectives. Today, he was arrested on a charge of raping a 16-year-old girl in an alleged incident dating back to last June.
It was supposed to be a sleepover between girls. The alleged victim had been hanging out with several friends the night of June 20. When they were at Steak ‘n Shake, Moultrie and his friends joined up with the girl and her friends. They all went to one of the girls’ sister’s house, spent some time there together, then everyone left.
“Later, unannounced, the males entered the residence through an unknown door and went into the spare bedroom,” Moultrie’s arrest affidavit states, while the 16-year-old and another girl were sleeping, or at least in a room in the dark.
The 16-year-old alleges she was then raped by either Moultrie or the other male. The alleged victim was later brought to the First Coast Protection Team, where a sexual assault exam was conducted and she was interviewed. The DNA matched that of Moultrie, whose DNA was already in a Florida Department of Law Enforcement database.
Sheriff’s detectives obtained another DNA sample from him, and interviewed Moultrie in February. He recalled hanging out with the girl. But he denied entering the house or ever engaging in any type of sex with the girl. He did so even after being presented with the DNA evidence. He told detectives the girl was lying, and that he’d never had sex with her. The second DNA sample again confirmed the match, with a one in 700 billion chance that it was that of another man. There are fewer than 4 billion men on the planet.
Detectives interviewed Moultrie on Feb. 20. His answers may have been inspired by nearly identical accounts in the news that very week.
On Feb. 17, 18 and 19, the top news in Flagler County included the trial and conviction of Tonda Royal, a 54-year-old man accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl in the Mondex. The case was almost identical to Moultrie’s in key respects: Royal’s sperm DNA was found in the girl. Royal insisted, on the stand and through his defense attorney, that he’d never had sex with the victim, that she had lied–and that she somehow had managed to get her hands on his sperm from another girl he’d had sex with, inserting it in herself to get him in trouble. (That other girl remained a mystery throughout the trial.) The jury didn’t buy it.
That segment of the trial had featured an entirely incredulous Melissa Clark, the assistant state attorney who prosecuted the case, disbelievingly asking Royal if he was really standing by his story. Clark is the prosecutor in the Moultrie case as well.
“DNA evidence doesn’t lie, but criminals do,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release. “I am proud of this victim for
having the courage to come forward and explain what happened. Our detectives and forensics did a great job. We hope the victim is able to mentally and physically recover from this heinous crime.”
The original charge against Royal was first-degree rape. That’s the charge against Moultrie, a first-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of life in prison on conviction. The State Attorney later changed the charge against Royal to unlawful sex with a minor, a second-degree felony, because the first-degree felony charge requires that the state prove that the assault was violent and forcible–a sometimes difficult charge to prove, absent other evidence. Royal was sentenced to 12 years in prison last month. He’s appealing.