Accused rapist has criminal history
Woman pushing stroller home near Bartram Park attacked Friday night
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An accused rapist was caught by police Friday less than two hours after they released information about him to the public, seeking help to track him down.
Sion Khadeem Henry, 25, was arrested in connection with the sexual battery of a woman behind a Bartram Park shopping center last Friday evening, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.
Henry's bond was set at $100,000 for his strong armed robbery charge and at $1 million bond on his sexual battery charge. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 21.
Assistant Chief Scott Dingee said that tips came in to the Sheriff's Office within 90 minutes of police releasing information about Henry and his car Friday. Police found the car parked behind a shopping center in Mandarin and arrested Henry about 2:30 p.m. as he was returning to the car from his job at a landscaping company.
"I'm very confident in the investigation that was conducted, and that we do have the right person in custody," Dingee said. "Obviously, he has a right to go through the legal system, but certainly, I believe that we have the right person, and that we have removed a dangerous person from the streets of Jacksonville."
Dingee thanked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for its help in quickly processing evidence that led to Henry being identified as a suspect in the case.
Henry, who is charged with sexual battery and strong-arm robbery, is accused of raping a woman a week ago just before 6 p.m. behind the Shoppes at Bartram Park on Old St. Augustine Road.
Henry was last known to be driving a 1995 Lexus GS300, gray, displaying Florida tag: 3827GA. A photo of a vehicle similar to Henry's vehicle was released by police (see below), which helped lead police to Henry's location after tips were called in.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report, Henry followed the woman leaving the grocery store to walk home, grabbed her stroller with her baby son inside, and threatened to push it into a retention pond. He then dragged the victim onto a mattress and sexually assaulted her while continuing to make threats against her baby.
She told officers she scratched Henry in the face, and he left, taking her cellphone and an undisclosed amount of cash with him. She was treated for injuries, and her baby was not hurt.
Last weekend, police released a sketch of the alleged attacker. He was described as a light-skinned black or possibly Hispanic man, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a muscular build, straight black hair and brown eyes. He was driving an older-model gray four-door car with "damaged looking" tinted windows.
According to police, Henry was trying to get the victim's attention and was making cat calls, when he followed her to the back of the plaza and raped her.
"When you're in a secluded area or a wooded area like this, you really have to be safe, and it's probably best not to even come through an area like this, whether you're alone or with an infant child," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said.
Henry's criminal history includes previous rape charge
Henry was arrested in 2015 on a charge of sexual battery, kidnapping, burglary, simple battery and trespassing. He pleaded guilty to simple battery and served 60 days in jail. The other charges were dropped.
According to the arrest report from the 2015 case, Henry approached the victim, asked for her phone number and then dragged her into a vacant house in his neighborhood and raped her.
Police said in that case, he he followed the victim to her home and told her he wanted to know where she lived, in case she called the police. The victim did called police, and while she was sitting in the patrol car, she pointed Henry out to the officer. He was arrested on the spot.
The State Attorney's Office issued a statement Friday, explaining that it was unable to move forward with the original charges against Henry in 2015, because the victim became uncooperative, gave inconsistent statements and refused to show up for three different depositions.
"We could not move forward with this case without the victim," the statement said.
"Most sexual assaults go unreported, because people don't want to go through the court system and have to face their perpetrator that way," Smith said. "Just being asked all the questions and almost being made to feel they did something wrong, and that's such a deeply emotional crime that happens to them that they don't want to face that."
Smith said in the case of last week's assault, the victim did what she had to do to protect her child.
"At that point, she is only thinking about saving the life of her baby and herself," Smith said. "So to preserve life, she did the right thing, and as horrible as it was, she did what she had to do to save her life and the life of her child."
Smith said it's possible Henry could have more victims.
"If his photograph is released and now you have two victims, other people feel more comfortable knowing they are not alone in this, that they can come forward, so there is a possibility other people may come forward," Smith said.
News4Jax investigated Henry's criminal history and social media presence.
Henry was also arrested in 2010 and 2011 in Miramar, Florida, on charges of prowling and loitering, and another charge of shoplifting.
When he was arrested on the prowling and loitering charge, Henry had women's jewelry inside a blue cologne cylinder bottle, according to the arrest report.
Henry wrote on his Google+ account, "I am deeply loved, divinely appointed .. profoundly cherished by God. No enemy plan scheme, or obstacle can keep me from God's highest and best will for me."
He also bragged on his Google+ account that he had survived an actual bullet. "Now I think I'm SuperMan," he wrote.
He posted on his Google+, Twitter and Facebook accounts about his faith in God and also about alcohol, money and pornography.
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