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Man pleads guilty to 2008 Haile rape, gets 20 years in prison.

Man pleads guilty to 2008 Haile rape, gets 20 years in prison.

The man accused of raping a woman in 2008 as she jogged on a Haile Plantation path has pleaded guilty to sexual battery with a deadly weapon and was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.

In addition to the jail time, Andrew Payne Jr., 40, also will be designated as a sexual predator and will serve 10 years' probation. He unexpectedly changed his plea to guilty on Wednesday.

Gainesville Attorney Stephen K. Miller released a statement Friday on behalf of the family of the victim, saying it is relieved Payne will spend 20 years in prison.

The family states that the woman who was attacked is stronger than ever mentally and physically and continues to be deeply touched by the prayers and encouragement of the community.

"Survivors of sexual assault should always report the crime and seek justice," the family said. "The perpetrator of this particular crime was apprehended as a result of DNA evidence. In short, if his previous crimes had not been reported by a courageous person, this case would still be unresolved. By courageously reporting these types of crimes, survivors bring offenders to justice and prevent future acts of violence."

State Attorney Bill Cervone said the plea agreement spares the woman the ordeal of a trial.

"I am always reluctant to force someone who has already been victimized by a traumatic incident to have to relive it, especially when they are reluctant to," Cervone said. "I think he deserves more, but I can live with this."

Payne was arrested in July 2012 in connection with the May 21, 2008, attack. The woman was jogging on a trail near the intersection of Southwest 46th Boulevard and 94th Street, near the entrance to the Indigo Square neighborhood in Haile Plantation, when she was surprised by a man with a gun at about 6:30 a.m.

Investigators say the man grabbed and beat her, sexually battered her and escaped before another person heard her screams for help.

Records show that Payne has a lengthy criminal record, including 16 felony charges with four convictions and 12 misdemeanor charges, with six convictions.

Payne had lived in Gainesville and Lake City at various times, with his last locally listed address being in Lake City in 2010.

He was linked to the crime through DNA and was arrested at a mobile home in Georgia.

The Alachua County Sheriff's Office collected DNA evidence from the woman's clothing. Initial DNA tests did not result in a match. A sample was resubmitted at the request of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab because of an upgrade to the national DNA database, allowing for a different type of search. A match to Payne was found then.

Source: Gainesville Sun
 
 
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