St. Johns County man accused of raping teen at community pool

'There is a guy beating the (expletive) out of a girl,' 911 caller said

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - An 18-year-old St. Johns County man faces a list of charges in the rape of a minor girl at a community pool that was caught on surveillance video, authorities said.

Tyler Nathaniel Tillman was booked into St. Johns County jail on charges of felony sexual assault, misdemeanor battery, underage possession of alcohol and furnishing alcohol to a minor, jail logs show.

The charges stem from an incident about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday at an undisclosed community pool near where the victim lives, according to a copy of Tillman’s arrest report.

No one answered the door Friday at a home address listed in Tillman's report.

Neighbor Elisa Albo said she doesn't know the family well. But she noted that every conversation she's had with Tillman has been pleasant.

"He's always been very polite," she said, "and I'm shocked to hear that he had any involvement with criminal activity."

News of Tillman's arrest also came as a surprise to Gabby Reynolds, his former classmate at Creekside High School. She said Tillman, who was a year behind her, played football.

"It was a little crazy to see that I know who this person is and he actually went to school with me," said Reynolds. "And seeing him on the news with some charge like this against him is kind of surprising."

Editor's note: We want to warn you that the narrative below contains graphic details that you may find upsetting.

The incident caused enough commotion to wake up neighbors, one of whom dialed 911 saying: "There is a guy beating the (expletive) out of a girl," according to the report.

Another neighbor told investigators he was so alarmed that he went down to the pool, but the victim refused to identify her attacker out of fear that "he would murder her family if she did."

Rape crisis resources

There are resources available if you or someone you know is the victim of rape. To speak with someone immediately, call the 24-hour rape crisis hotline at 904-721-7273.

  • The Women's Center of Jacksonville at 5644 Colcord Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Baker County residents can visit the Macclenny location at 418 S. 8th Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • In Fernandina Beach, the Weaver Center offers crisis assistance at 1303 Jasmine St. from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Later that day, deputies met with the victim at an area hospital, where authorities collected evidence showing signs of sexual assault, the report stated.

The victim told investigators she contacted Tillman over social media to get alcohol from him. Once they had some vodka, she went for a swim.

At some point, the victim said, Tillman kissed her. She said he grew aggressive from there and forced himself on her repeatedly along a ledge in the shallow end of the pool.

The incident was caught on surveillance video. According to the report, it showed the older teen having "violent sexual intercourse" and "striking the victim in the head throughout the encounter."

Jail logs show Tillman, who was ordered to stay away from the victim, remains in custody without bond.‚Äč

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