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A convicted rapist is accused of breaking into a Crystal River woman's home, demanding sex and stabbing her 15 times. The victim was in stable condition Sunday. A man broke into a woman's Crystal River home Saturday evening and hid beside her bed, waiting for her to return from work. The man surprised her, demanded sex and, when she resisted, savagely stabbed her 15 times, police said.
Crystal River officers quickly arrested Alexander Whaley and accused him of being the assailant. Whaley, whose criminal history includes a rape, kidnapping and attempted murder case near Crystal River, ran from officers who were patrolling near the victim's home, and also had blood on his clothing and body, police said. The victim does not know Whaley, who declined to make a statement to police, Crystal River Sgt. David DeCarlis said.
Whaley, 38, of NW Crystal St. The victim, whose name police declined to release, remained at Shands at the University of Florida hospital in Gainesville on Sunday, where police said she was in stable condition.
Citing the nature of the case, authorities declined to release the woman's address.
They said only that she lived near Crystal River Middle School. Officer Chris Anderson, who arrested Whaley, interviewed the woman at the hospital late Saturday. He said the attacker stabbed the woman three times in the head, almost severing her left ear; three times on her left arm and hands; three times in her abdomen; and then one time each on her pelvis, right thumb, left knee, left shoulder blade, left elbow and left forearm.
Despite the attacker's stated intentions, police don't believe the woman, who is in her mid- to late 30s, was sexually assaulted. This kind of violent home invasion is unusual in Citrus County and especially Crystal River. Police learned of the incident at p. DeCarlis said it appeared the attacker had climbed through a window and then waited for the woman to return home.
Anderson, the arresting officer, said the woman suspected her home had been burglarized because she noticed some items out of place. She went into the bedroom to call police. That's when the attacker struck. Using a steak knife that he had found in the home, the man attacked the woman when she resisted him. He fled on foot, and the woman went to a neighbor's home, where someone calledDeCarlis said. Dispatchers alerted police.
But just before they did so, Anderson said, he had suspected something was wrong.
Anderson, who was patrolling near the woman's home, stopped to talk to a man. That man said he thought he heard a woman scream, but Anderson said his squad car's engine made too much noise for him to hear. As Anderson prepared to investigate what the man had heard, he said he saw Whaley walking from an area near the woman's house. The officer knew about Whaley's past and wanted to question him. But Whaley saw the officer and ran. Moments later, Anderson heard dispatchers announce the attack.
Anderson continued after Whaley. DeCarlis was among the officers who went to the victim's home. Police obtained a description of the attacker from the victim before medical workers took her to Gainesville. Whaley matched the victim's description, DeCarlis said. Further, Whaley'sclothing appeared to have burn marks, and he had blood on the clothing and his skin, the sergeant said.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office responded to the arrest scene and brought a specially trained dog, which led authorities to pieces of burned trousers, a shirt, a ball cap and a bloody sock that had been discarded nearby, DeCarlis said.
Police suspect Whaley tried to discard and burn evidence, the sergeant said. Another theory: During the struggle inside the house, a kerosene lamp had been broken, likely spilling fuel on the attacker. Whaley had tried to light a cigarette while hiding from police and might have set himself afire, Anderson said. Technicians will conduct tests to determine whether the victim's blood was on that evidence and on Whaley's skin, DeCarlis said. But the evidence wasn't the only thing that made authorities curious about Whaley.
His violent criminal history also aroused suspicion. Between 4 and 5 a. She said the man sliced her hands with a long knife and pounded her head against the sidewalk. The store was at County Road and State Road Whaley was convicted of the crimes and, in Februarywas sentenced to serve a year prison term. But he walked out of prison in Januarya full 10 years early.
The reason: prison crowding at the time led to generous sentence reductions, the records and news s showed. In Apriljust after Whaley's early prison release, Crystal River police arrested him for drunken driving. Whaley told then-County Judge Gary Graham that he was "trying to straighten up my act," the news s showed. But the judge, fully aware of Whaley's record, sentenced Whaley to the maximum penalty: six months in jail, plus probation, fines and community service. I've paid my debts to society. Judges are allowed to consider a defendant's criminal history, among many other factors, when determining a sentence.
Whaley almost got in trouble again inwhen police said he burned a woman with a hot plate during a domestic dispute, according to news s. Prosecutors declined to bring charges, though, saying Whaley acted in self-defense. Anderson, the arresting officer, said he was not familiar with details of Whaley's more-recent criminal record. However, the officer said Whaley had been away from town for quite a while and had returned somewhat recently.
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