Man Accused Of Rape, Machete Attack In Palm Bay

POSTED: 11:58 am EDT August 22, 2007
UPDATED: 5:30 pm EDT August 22, 2007

PALM BAY, Fla. -- Palm Bay police used calls made from a rape victim's stolen cell phone to track down her attacker. Police said the 19-year-old suspect from Trinidad broke into a home and raped a woman with her family members nearby.

Police said the man came to Palm Bay from Trinidad to look at colleges. It started with him allegedly looking at a young girl and a young woman through their windows, but now he's looking at spending his time in the U.S. behind bars.

Dwayne Modeste had little to say as he was led away to jail. Police said the 19-year-old was walking down his street when he saw a 13-year-old girl and 20-year-old woman in front of their home. When they went inside, he still apparently wanted to see more.

"He started by looking in the windows and watching them and then he entered the house," explained Det. Steve Hill, Palm Bay Police Department.

When the 13-year-old screamed, police said, he originally ran outside, but then came back in and went into a room where the 20-year-old was and was able to attack her sexually.

The victim's aunt started beating him with a mop handle, until she was overpowered and then she ran back into a bedroom.

"He armed himself with a machete that he found in the kitchen, threw it into the bedroom in their direction," Hill said.

Modeste eventually left with their cell-phone. He was staying with his grandparents, who told Eyewitness News they didn't know about the crime until police showed up and said he has brought disgrace and shame upon their family.

Police were able to find him by essentially tracing cell phone calls made from the stolen cell phone. Federal immigration officials were called, but local police said they believe he will be prosecuted in the U.S. before being allowed to go back to Trinidad.

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