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Sex offender charged in sexual assault of Jax beach woman

Police say man entered beachfront condo balcony through open sliding door

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Police have arrested a 58-year-old registered sex offender from South Carolina and charged him with the sexual assault of a Jacksonville Beach woman two weeks ago in her oceanfront condominium.

Jacksonville Beach police arrested Freddie Ellis Jr. on Saturday and charged him with sexual assault, home invasion, armed burglary and failure to register as a sex offender. Police said he entered the 63-year-old victim's home through an open sliding glass door on the second-floor balcony of the South First Street condominium about 3 a.m. Dec. 13.

According to Jacksonville Beach police, a warrant was obtained after evidence at the scene matched that of Ellis. He was arrested early Saturday morning by a Jacksonville Beach officer patrolling Gonzales Park who recognized Ellis as the man wanted in the case.

According to the arrest report, Ellis used a ladder to get onto the balcony. When he left, he took the victim's cellphone, an iPad and a jade necklace.

Ellis was being held on $1.2 million bond.

Ellis was convicted of sexual assault in 1988 and failure to register as a sex offender in 2009 -- both in South Carolina.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said Ellis' previous criminal history and DNA on file helped police find him quickly.

"When they tie all this together, if this is the right person, hopefully, he will be off the streets for a long time," Smith said.


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