I-TEAM: Sex offender charged in 2006 Jacksonville rape

Mikel McClusky, 48, released from prison just days before arrest

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter, Frank Powers - Assignment manager

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 12-year-old Jacksonville rape case has finally produced an arrest. 

Mikel McClusky, a 48-year-old registered sex offender, was just released from prison March 23, and brought to the Duval County jail on two counts of sexual assault stemming from a 2006 cold case.

It's another arrest resulting from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement processing the backlog of rape kits.

According to the arrest warrant, McClusky was driving in Arlington, picked up a woman and the two went to a vacant home, where they drank and smoked marijuana. The warrant states he forced himself on her and then dropped her off at a convenience store.

The DNA evidence from the 2006 rape came back last year, and that’s when the state attorney’s office put a hold on McClusky, so he wouldn’t be set free.

The News4Jax I-TEAM learned he has a 1997 conviction in Nebraska for child molesting. He was also arrested in 1999 on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between the aged 12 to 15.

McClusky also served six years in prison for a 2012 conviction for lewd and lascivious battery. 

The state attorney's office has filed a petition under the Jimmy Ryce Act to have him declared a sexually violent predator.

In the petition, the state attorney’s office says, McClusky “suffers from a mental abnormality and/or personality disorder which makes him likely to engage in acts of sexual violence if not confined in a secure facility for long-term care, control and treatment.” 

If granted by a judge, it would mean McClusky would be placed in civil confinement under the constant supervision of the Florida Department of Children and Families. 

McClusky is being held on $500,000 bond on the 2006 rape charges. 

People who have endured sexual abuse themselves said seeing cold cases being solved is liberating.

"You are forever a victim," Sue Ellen Eldridge said. "No one wants to feel that way."

Eldridge told the I-TEAM on Thursday that she knows what it's like to be violated, and watch the person who committed that act walk away a free man.

"I have a past of sexual abuse and assault, and there are people still out there (who) will never get caught for something like this. It's good," she said.

The state Department of Law Enforcement began processing the rape kits when a backlog was discovered in 2016. As of January, the FDLE has completed 6,161 rape kits, of which 1,461 of the kits produced a positive DNA match. Its goal is to process 8,600 rape kits by 2019.

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