St. Croix man arrested on rape charges pleads guilty to assault
Published: September 29, 2012
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ST. CROIX - A 23-year-old man arrested almost a year ago on charges that he physically and sexually assaulted a woman after taking her car and driving her to a secluded spot in Estate Sion Hill, pleaded guilty to assault in the case on Friday.
Tyrone Petersen of Estate Sion Farm appeared before V.I. Superior Court Judge Harold Willocks and entered a guilty plea to a single count of third-degree assault in connection to the incident reported to police on October 24.
Petersen initially had been charged with first-degree aggravated rape, second-degree assault and third-degree assault, kidnapping for rape, unlawful sexual contact, using a dangerous weapon, grand larceny and possession of stolen property. He had pleaded not guilty at the time of his arraignment and was headed to trial in the case.
According to the plea deal offered by Assistant Attorney General Charlotte Poole Davis, Petersen was allowed to waive his right to a jury trial and plead guilty to the assault in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the remaining charges against him.
According to V.I. Police Detective Gregory Charlery's police report, soon after the attack occurred, the victim told police that Petersen, a man she knew, called her asking for a ride to get his vehicle in Estate St. George's. The victim agreed, but the two got into an argument, and Petersen put the car into park as they were driving and pushed the woman out of the driver's seat, telling her he wanted to drive, according to the report.
The woman got into the passenger seat, and Petersen turned the car around and drove toward Sion Hill, where he drove to a secluded spot, Charlery said. He got out of the car, opened the passenger's door and dragged the woman out by her hair and then punched her in the mouth, according to Charlery.
Petersen then pinned the woman on the ground by planting his knees on her arms and repeatedly punched her in the face, the woman told police. After she managed to crawl away, Petersen took out a box-cutter and cut the woman's left leg, Charlery wrote.
Petersen then grabbed her by the throat and molested her.
On the way, Petersen forcibly took the woman's $200 gold ring off her finger, police said.
The woman had a cut on her leg, scratches to her upper back, stomach and forehead, a swollen left eye, a bloody lip and red marks on her body, Charlery said.
During the hearing Friday, Petersen admitted to hitting and punching the woman to the ground and acknowledged that the injuries she sustained were a result of the assault.
Willocks accepted the plea and scheduled sentencing in the case to take place at 10 a.m. Dec. 14. Petersen had been free on $100,000 bail on a 24-hour house arrest with the use of an electronic monitor, but on Friday, Willocks amended the release conditions, allowing him released without the use of the monitor so that he could attend church and his classes at the University of the Virgin Islands.
- Contact reporter Fiona Stokes at 714-9149 or email email@example.com.