SARASOTA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A Sarasota man was arrested Friday and is facing two charges of Sexual Battery. Police are asking any additional victims to contact law enforcement immediately.
Gerald Hobson, 25, of 2431 Chilk Avenue, Sarasota, Florida has been arrested and is facing two charges of sexual battery. Sarasota Police detectives have reason to believe there may be additional victims. Hobson has three felony convictions from 2018 for burglary, possession of a controlled substance and grand theft.
In March 2020, a woman went to a local hospital after she said she was the victim of a sexual battery. The victim told Sarasota Police detectives in February 2020, she was at Fredd Atkins Park between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., when she fell asleep. When she woke up, she fell and said Hobson approached her to help her. A short time later, the victim says Hobson pushed her down and sexually assaulted her. When the victim asked Hobson to stop, she said he told her he was going to smother her if she did not be quiet.
In July 2020, a woman was around Fredd Atkins Park when she told Sarasota Police detectives she was approached by Hobson. The woman walked away but said Hobson continued to follow her. A short time later, the woman said she was pushed down, choked, and sexually assaulted by Hobson.
Both victims described Hobson as a dark-skinned man, 6’0″, 300 lbs, in late 20’s or early 30’s with short dreadlocks, wearing black tank tops and frequented the area of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and North Washington Boulevard (U.S. 301) and a gas station nearby. Both victims also told Sarasota Police detectives that Hobson forcefully pushed them to the ground and told them to be quiet. The victims do not know one another and do not know Hobson.
An extensive search of arrest records established a possible suspect based on the description given by the victims. Sarasota Police detectives spoke with both victims separately and both identified Hobson from a photo lineup.
On Sunday, August 23, 2020, Hobson was arrested by Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies near 22nd Street and Mango Avenue after they learned he had an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation. Hobson was served with the two warrants for sexual battery at the Sarasota County Jail.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Detective Angela Cox at 941-263-6075 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online.
Hobson remains at the Sarasota County Jail on a $100,000 bond.
Members of the public are reminded that the suspect is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
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