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Man accused of raping child 50 years ago

Police say suspect was 22 in 1964 when 7 years of sexual abuse began

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman claims she was sexually assaulted by her sister's husband 50 years ago, has reported it to police and is hoping justice will be served.

Edward James Sundie, 72, was arrested last week after the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office monitored a phone call between Sundie and the victim. He was charged with capital sexual battery on a child under the age of 12. He posted $100,000 bond the same day.

According to the arrest report, the molestation began in 1964 when the victim was 6 years old and continued for seven years. The victim says she didn't come forward when she was older because she thought the statute of limitations would not allow him to be prosecuted.

Now the woman who has spent the last 50 years of her life in fear is speaking up.

"The physical part is the least of it," she told News4Jax. "It just ruins you all the way through, and it'll eat you up."

The woman said it took years for her to get the help she needed, and that counseling was the best thing that happened to her.

"When you walk into your counselor's office and you start telling your story and you dissolve on the floor in tears, and then you cry for two straight days. It's like having a nervous breakdown," she said. "But you come out the other side of it you realize just how angry you are and who you're angry at."

News4Jax has made several attempts to contact Sundie, including going by his house, but no one came to the door. 

Sundie's lawyer, Robert Davis, did have a brief comment.

"At this point in time, Mr Sundie is denying the allegations that have been alleged. He asks for privacy for his family. We intend to mount a vigorous defense for Mr. Sundie to the court as the case proceeds forward," Davis said.

A lawyer not affiliated with the case talked about how prosecutors may proceed with the case.

"I think it's fair to presume that something was said over that telephone," said Gene Nichols. "Whether it's enough for Mrs. Corey to be able to prosecute and subsequently convict him, that's a different story."

Nichols said the state attorney's office has three options: File an information document proceeding with the charges, decide it's a case suited for the grand jury, or throw it out altogether.

"A prosecutors obligation is to determine if they have a case that they have a reasonable probability of conviction. And if they determine they have a reasonable probability of conviction, you can expect this case to be fought by the SA's office and to attempted to convict him of the charge he has," said Nichols.

The victim has finally come to terms with what happened to her.

"You may lose family members over this. You may lose part of your family. If you do, is it worth having them in your life if their happiness is based upon you remaining a victim?"

Sundie's next court date is set for March 26.