SUNRISE (CBS4) – Two and a half years after a vicious attack on a teenage girl in Lauderhill, a man is locked up on sexual battery charges while the victim tries to piece her life back together.
Sunrise Police arrested Reginald Walker last week. He is charged with two counts of sexual battery with a weapon and one count of kidnapping. He is being held at the Broward County Jail.
The story begins on the night of December 6, 2008. The victim — then 16 — had just gotten off a bus and was walking along NW 58 Terrace in Sunrise.
“It was dark,” the victim told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “No lights on the street. I was just trying to get home.”
The victim said two men she had never seen before pulled alongside her in a car. One of them pulled out a gun, got out and forced her into their car.
“I felt like at that point, I couldn’t run,” she said. “I felt like if I ran, I would have got shot. I was thinking all type of things in my mind — should I straight, should I run in zigzag, but I felt either way I wasn’t going to make it.”
The victim said the men drove a short distance to a vacant home in Lauderhill. Once there, the men tied her up, beat her and took turns sexually assaulting her at gunpoint.
“I fought the whole time,” she said. “I fought for my life for like — I can’t even tell you — but when I finally gave up, is when I took a deep breath and prayed and was like, ‘Lord, out of all things just don’t let my mom see me in an abandoned apartment naked and dead.'”
The men left the victim in the house without a stitch of clothing, her shoes, keys or cell phone.
She ran out of the house, naked, screaming for help. Neighbors saw her and called 911.
For two and half years, the victim wondered if the men who attacked her would ever be caught. Relief came several weeks ago when detectives traced DNA from the crime to Walker, according to investigative reports.
The victim said a second man participated in the violence but so far, only Walker has been arrested. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Walker was sentenced to two years in prison in December 2010 for grand theft. He is expected to finish his prison term in July 2012.
“I know if they let him, them get away with this, they’re gonna feel like they could do it again and I wouldn’t want no other female to go through what I go through,” she said.
The victim said she is trying to move forward with her life – she is raising a son and wants to become a nurse. But scars remain.
She is uncomfortable around men, fears another attack and her emotions run wild.
“It made me become somebody I think I’m not,” she admitted. “In a minute, I’ll be happy and the next minute, I’ll be mad. In the next second, I’ll be sad.”
She credits three friends with keeping her focused and encouraging her to continue reaching her goals.
“At times I wanted to give up on life, like I didn’t even have nothing any more but they made me feel like my life wasn’t over,” she said.