Fort Lauderdale

1985 Rape Case Solved With Victim’s Help: BSO

A registered sex offender is behind bars facing charges in the kidnapping and rape of a 16-year-old girl nearly 30 years ago, after the woman contacted detectives to take a fresh look at the cold case crime, authorities said.

Dobie Hunter, 51, was arrested Friday on a sexual assault with a weapon charge in the October 1985 attack in Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

Hunter was being held without bond Monday after appearing in court. It was unknown whether he has an attorney.

The victim had recently contacted the BSO's Special Victims Unit after her own daughter turned 16, the same age the victim was at the time of the alleged crime, BSO spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.

"She has been living with it for 30 years," Moschella said. "This was a day she never forgot."

According to an arrest affidavit, the girl was walking with a friend in the 2000 block of Northwest 29th Avenue when two men in a vehicle approached them and one of the men chased her down and threw her into the car.

The men drove around in the vehicle, taking turns raping her, punching her and threatening her with a knife, the affidavit said.

The men then drove her to an apartment where they continued to rape her, then left the apartment and drove around Broward County before dropping her off in the area where they had abducted her, the report said.

"This was a brutal crime. She was snatched right off the street," Moschella said.

The victim had reported her rape just after the attack, and the evidence was collected. However, detectives were unable to make an arrest.

“Luckily, at the time, she had done the right thing,” Moschella said. “She contacted law enforcement. She made a report. She went to the sexual assault treatment center, and evidence was collected from her body.”

In May, nearly 29 years later, the victim contacted the BSO and filed a report. All of the evidence in the case had been saved, and the DNA was entered into a database that didn't exist at the time of the alleged crime.

Hunter has been arrested numerous times, and records show he was convicted a decade ago in a different case for a sexual assault on a minor. He’s also a registered sex offender.

In his first court hearing, Hunter was denied bond.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office said the second suspect remains at-large. The BSO hasn't said if they have any leads on the second suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. 

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