Man accused of rape has been arrested on similar charges before
Published: August 10, 2012
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
ST. CROIX - A Castle Burke man with an extensive criminal history of violent crimes, including rape, was advised of his rights in V.I. Superior Court on another rape charge.
Neil Durant, 35, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with first-degree rape and second-degree assault in connection with an incident police said happened during the early morning hours of July 31.
V.I. Police Detective Naomi Joseph said in her police report that she was called to investigate a reported rape, and she learned that the woman said Durant was someone she had known for a number of years and he recently had become homeless. The victim said that on July 30, Durant was discussing his frustration about sleeping in the bushes in his car, and he asked if he could stay at her home.
The woman said she agreed to allow Durant to stay on the floor in her house, and during the night, he approached her about sex, but she turned down his advances.
She said that later that night she was awakened by Durant in her bedroom asking for sex, and when she turned him down again, he became aggressive and started touching her, before he grabbed her, choked her and raped her. She said she was screaming for help, but other people in the house did not hear her.
When the attack was over, the victim grabbed her cellular phone to contact police, but he took it and threw it to the ground, according to Joseph.
The woman said that when she was free, she called out to her mother, who was in another room, and told her what Durant had done. The woman said Durant apologized and begged them not to call the police before he ran from the home, according to the police report.
Police searched for Durant for more than a week, and he was spotted Wednesday night in the Estate Plessen area and arrested, according to Joseph.
Durant told police that he did not rape the woman, Joseph said. Durant said he asked her to have sex with him, and she agreed, according to the affidavit. Durant told police that the woman later became upset with him and is now lying about the situation so that he could be in trouble with the law, according to Joseph.
During Durant's advice-of-rights hearing Thursday morning, Magistrate Judge Miguel Camacho advised him that he faces a minimum of 10 years and up to 30 years on the rape charge and up to 10 years on the assault charge.
Camacho set bail at $75,000 and ordered that Durant could be allowed released on bail if he is able to provide a suitable third-party custodian and post 10 percent of the bail in cash or twice the amount in property.
Camacho said he was concerned that Durant had six prior felony arrests, with four of those charges being in connection with rape allegations.
According to Durant's criminal contact sheet, Wednesday's arrest is his seventh since 1998. He was charged with second-degree rape in April 1998; second-degree rape in May 1998; and contempt of court in June 1998. The disposition of those cases is unknown because they were not noted by the Police Department, and the files for those years are stored off-site and were unavailable Thursday.
In February 2005, Durant was charged with aggravated assault and battery, kidnap for rape and aggravated second-degree rape, but that case was dismissed because the victim recanted her story. A grand larceny charge in June 2008 was dismissed because of lack of evidence, and a grand larceny charge in September 2010 still is pending.
An October 2010 first-degree rape charge was dismissed without prejudice after prosecutors determined last July that they do not have sufficient evidence to go forward with the charges.
Camacho said he sees Durant as a tremendous danger to the community, and even if he is able to secure his release, he will be ordered to remain on 24-hour house arrest with the use of an electronic monitoring device.
Unable to meet the conditions of release, Durant remains jailed at Golden Grove Correctional Facility. He is scheduled for an arraignment hearing at 9 a.m. Aug. 22.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.