JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man accused of rape last February after an attack on a mother in Bartram Park has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one count of armed robbery.
According to his arrest warrant, Sion Khadeem Henry, 26, was tied to the crime with DNA evidence collected from the victim through a rape kit.
He will be sentenced March 20 and could face up to life in prison.
Henry's trial was set to start next week, after delays late last year when his lawyer dropped the case, citing a conflict. But the trial date was moved up to Monday, and that's when he entered a guilty plea, admitting that he raped a woman Feb. 19 behind the Shoppes at Bartram Park on Old St. Augustine Road.
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.
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.
The victim later positively identified Henry in a lineup, and then ran out of the room crying, police said.
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 on Feb. 26. 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.
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.