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Man Charged With Raping Woman On Lakeland Street

Lakeland, Florida – Lakeland Police have arrested a Lakeland man for allegedly raping a woman in the early morning hours last week.

Derrick Woodard 34, is currently being held in Polk County Jail pending $115,000 bond. Woodard is being charged with sexual battery, battery, robbery and false imprisonment.

On May 7, 2021, at approximately 5:19am  Lakeland Police Department officers were  dispatched to the America’s Best Motel located at 518 Memorial Boulevard East, Lakeland,  in reference to a disturbance where a subject was possibly being raped.

Officers arrived on scene and made contact with the the victim who was sitting on the ground visibly shaking, rocking back and forth, and crying. The victim was wearing only a t-shirt with no pants. The victim pointed at the defendant, Derrick Woodard, and said that he attacked her. She stated he penetrated her vagina with his fingers multiple times against her will and bit her on the neck. The victim was transported to Lakeland Regional Health for medical treatment.

Here is an exerpt from the arrest affidavit: Officers made contact with two witnesses.  One witness advised he was standing in the parking lot of 508 Memorial Boulevard East when he heard the victim screaming for help. He stated he began searching for the victim and located her at 518 Memorial Blvd. He stated he saw the defendant on top of her actively holding her arms down. He stated he saw the defendant actively penetrating the victim. He began yelling at the defendant and he did not stop. He stated the defendant told them that the victim was his wife and to get out of their “business.” He advised he heard the victim tell the defendant to stop multiple times. He advised the victim was clearly not consenting to the sexual contact. The witness also stated the defendant stole the victim’s cell phone during the attack.
Another witness, advised he saw the defendant on top of the victim, but did not see the penetration due to the angle he was standing at. He advised he heard the victim screaming for help and telling the defendant to stop. The witness advised the defendant was doing “thrusting” motions with his hips and it was clear he was having sex with the victim. He stated the defendant then stole the victim’s cell phone and left the parking lot.

According to the arrest affidavit the victim stated she was in the parking lot picking up trash when the defendant walked up to her and grabbed her hand. The victim stated she attempted to pull away and the defendant became aggressive with her, accusing her of stealing his money. The victim stated the defendant grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her onto the ground, becoming increasingly more violent. She stated the defendant used his fingers to penetrate her multiple times, and grabbed her around the throat, impeding her breathing. She stated he then pulled her pants down.  She stated the defendant also stole her phone and left. She stated the entire encounter lasted approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

According to the affidavit when patrol officers responded to the scene, they detained the defendant walking away from the scene. He had in his possession the victim’s shorts and her stolen cell phone. The defendant allegedly spontaneously stated, “that’s just her pants, just her pants, and her phone, she stole mine.”

Woodard is no stranger to the legal system. He is a convinced felon and spent 2 1/2 yrs in prison for armed robbery, not with a gun, fleeing to elude and child abuse. He also spent just over 8 years for armed robbery when he robbed the Winter Haven Family Dollar at gunpoint.

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Staff Reporter

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