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Suspect In Brandon Rape, Kidnapping Was Released From Prison Last Year

Detectives are urging women to always take a walking buddy after the “violent and disgusting attack.”

Detectives are warning women not to walk alone, especially at night, after a Brandon woman was raped as she was out for a walk earlier this week.

The kidnapping and rape happened Tuesday night, Oct. 4, at approximately 8 p.m. as the victim was walking along Delaney Creek Drive, just west of Falkenburg Road.

The 34-year-old woman was grabbed from behind and forced into a wooded area by the suspect, Devarian M. Thomas, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomas, 23, reportedly then forced the woman into a nearby apartment complex, Circle at Crosstown, where he sexually battered her twice in a women's restroom near the pool. The suspect threatened to kill the woman if she told anyone, detectives said.

Crime scene investigators later processed the crime scene and were able to obtain physical evidence linking Thomas to this crime, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This was a very violent and disgusting attack,” said Detective Larry McKinnon. “It was also totally random, which is unusual because in most of these types of attacks the attacker has some kind of relationship to the victim.”

McKinnon urged women to exercise caution when out alone.

“We strongly encourage them not to walk alone," he said. "Always take a walking buddy. This attacker was able to pull the woman into the woods, and no one could see what was happening.”

Thomas is facing three counts of sexual battery, kidnapping and three counts relating to violation of his probation.

Thomas lives at 1909 Garden Bower Circle, less than a mile from where the attack occurred. He was sentenced to five years for robbery home invasion in Panama City in 2006, according to jail records.

Records show he was released in December 2010 and required to serve 15 years probation.

DJMedik91 October 16, 2011 at 03:52 AM
Yes we do pay higher to live in a safer area. I'll be pissed if she isn't evicted, because I'm sure her friends are all the same. I'm almost positive the victim will be moving out. I would. My heart goes out to her, and I wish her the best.
LadyM21 October 16, 2011 at 11:26 PM
You are very right, I love Dee with all of me and thats like my big brother. Yall are passing judgement and yall shouldn't because yall dont know him! But in the end he was sweet and wouldnt do this! I love you big bro and God most definately will see you through!
Kevin Brady October 17, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Thank you to all of you who took time to comment on this story. While it's understandable that emotions can run high on a story like this, please keep our terms of use in mind when posting comments. Check out the terms of use at: http://brandon.patch.com/terms
DJMedik91 October 17, 2011 at 07:17 PM
Yes he was so sweet when he broke into someones house with a weapon and robbed the occupants. Definitely a stand up citizen and someone I would love to have as a neighbor. He will get his in prison!
Stephanie October 20, 2011 at 03:01 AM
Agreed with the above comment. I have no sympathy for this guy. I ferl so bad for the victim.

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