Breaking News Blog

Police: DNA evidence points to Sarasota man charged with raping deaf woman during armed home invasion

SARASOTA -- A man was arrested after investigators say he sexually assaulted a deaf woman during an armed home invasion, according to the Sarasota Police Department.

Newly received DNA evidence linked Herbert Earl Stilley III to the crime, police said.

Stilley, 27, of Sarasota, was arrested Wednesday in the 2100 block of Dixie Avenue in Sarasota and charged with felony armed home invasion and felony armed sexual battery, according to a news release.

The attack happened about 2 a.m. on Feb. 10, when someone walked into the woman's house, pointed a gun in her face and demanded money. Her husband was outside.

The couple's children were asleep in a nearby bedroom at the time of the home invasion.

The woman and her husband are deaf, but they can read lips.

"Where is the money?" she told police the suspect asked.

In fear of her children's safety, she took the suspect to her bedroom and gave him her purse. The suspect then sexually assauled her, which she did not resist since he was armed. Afterwards, the suspect ran out of the bedroom and was then chased out of the house by the victim's husband.

Newly received DNA evidence allowed police to link Stilley to the crime, according to the report. After a warrant was issued, Stilley was arrested. He is being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail.