Sexual battery suspect previously accused of sexual assault

Leslie Hammock arrested in Clay County on warrant out of Orlando

By Erik Avanier - Reporter

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - A man at the center of a high-profile sexual assault case eight years ago in Bradenton, Florida, was arrested Friday on Orange Avenue in Green Cove Springs. 

Leslie Hammock, 58, now faces multiple charges of aggravated sexual battery. 

Shortly after 9 a.m., the U.S. Marshals Service and the Clay County Sheriff's Office arrested Hammock on a warrant out of Orlando. 

According to the Sheriff's Office, he was wanted by Orlando police in connection with an extensive and long-term investigation. 

Neighbors told News4Jax that since this summer, Hammock had been living in a trailer about a mile away from where he was arrested.

"I'm really shocked to hear that," neighbor Charles Tanner said. "He doesn't seem like that type of guy. He was always straight with me."

Court records show that eight years ago, Hammock was facing identical charges in Bradenton. 

In that case, Bradenton police said, Hammock pulled a gun on a woman at a gas station, then ordered her into his minivan. According to Bradenton police, the two drove to a vacant trailer home, where the victim said she was beaten and sexually assaulted.

Before the case went to trial, prosecutors amended the sexual assault charge to an aggravated assault charge because of lack of evidence. Hammock was convicted on the assault charge and sentenced to seven years in prison. 

Neighbors said learning of Hammock's criminal past has given them more cause for concern. 

"It's bad and it's scary," neighbor Sheri Patterson said. "I'm glad they caught him and he's where he needs to be."

Hammock was booked into the Clay County jail and will make his first appearance in court Saturday morning. 

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