Trial begins for man accused of raping, mutilating woman in Orlando

Jury selection began on Monday in the trial of a man accused of raping and mutilating a woman in Orlando in 2022.

The female victim alleges that Bruce Whitehead sexually battered and attacked her near Pine Hills Road in Orlando on December 10, 2022.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, then-54-year-old Whitehead was arrested by deputies on December 15, 2022, after authorities received a tip from an observant resident.

Bruce Whitehead was arrested on December 15, 2022.
Bruce Whitehead was arrested on December 15, 2022.

The sheriff’s office stated that five days prior to Whitehead’s arrest, at around 4 a.m., deputies responded to the incident location in reference to a call from the victim after she had escaped Whitehead and was assisted by some bystanders.

The victim stated that during the previous evening, she met Whitehead at a business near the Florida Mall. At that time, she willingly agreed to go with Whitehead to a few locations.

At one of the stops, Whitehead allegedly presented a weapon and threatened to harm her if she did not comply with his demands.

The victim and Whitehead went to a final stop near North Lane, where the victim claims Whitehead sexually battered her. After she was battered, the victim further alleges that Whitehead attempted to murder her.

According to the victim’s statement, she fought Whitehead off and was able to escape to a nearby subdivision, where she got help.

Through the suspect’s description, law enforcement officers were able to identify Whitehead and eventually found his vehicle.

In the 1980s, Whitehead was sentenced to 40 years, but completed 20 years in prison for a rape and attempted murder that he committed in north Florida.

Orange County Court records show that Whitehead is being charged with sexual battery with attempted first-degree murder, armed sexual battery, armed kidnapping, armed robbery, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Whitehead has pleaded not guilty to the above charges.

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