HALLANDALE BEACH (CBS4) – A registered sex offender, who’s lived in relative obscurity in South Florida for several years, is in the Broward County Jail accused of trying to rape a 16-year-old girl.
According to Hallandale Beach Police, David Becker called authorities in the early morning hours of October 22 to report that a woman had stolen money from him.
When investigators spoke to the woman they learned she was 16. Police say the teen showed them disturbing photos of her and Becker together inside his home.
A police report shows the girl said Becker helped her with her “life problems.” During the evening, the teen said Becker told her he loved her and began acting “weird.”
The report says Becker undressed then wrapped the “victims belt around her face/mouth and began to unbutton her pants.”
The victim told police Becker tore off her clothes and tried to force her to perform a sex act on him. She told detectives she was able to dress and flee the home.
Becker was arrested and charged with attempted sexual battery.
“This is an extremely serious case,” Hallandale Beach Police Captain Pedro Abut told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “This would be considered a violent attack.”
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Becker is a registered sexual offender out of California. FDLE’s records show Becker was convicted of several sex charges in 1999.
“The reason that he moved to Florida was to take advantage of the favorable laws that Florida has that allow him to shelter his assets in real estate,” said Larry Cook, the California lawyer who represented the teenage victims. They become judgement proof. He bought a home in South Florida for cash and was able to live off of disability income. I’m not surprised that he’s involved in this kind of conduct, everybody has to be on guard”
Becker’s waterfront home in the Golden Isles community is valued at nearly $500,000, according to the Broward County Property Appraiser.
One of his neighbors is Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper. Cooper said she and neighbors have been keeping an eye on Becker since he moved in, alerting police if they saw something suspicious. The community was warned that Becker was a registered sex offender.
“I, personally, living on the street — if I ever saw anything unusual, knowing that he was single man — like if there was people out front or cars parked there that seemed to be not belonging in the neighborhood — would call (the police),” Cooper said.
Neighbors told CBS 4 they never had any problems with Becker, who largely kept to himself. But they are upset about the arrest.
“It’s just shameful that it’s happening in this neighborhood,” said Arturo O’Neill.
“That’s crazy man,” said Nelson Perez. “I don’t think they should even let these people out.”
Captain Abut says this case provides a lesson for parents.
“You have to know what your kids are doing and where they are as much as possible,” Abut said.
According to media reports and a check of records from California, Becker is a former California chiropractor who was accused in the late ’90’s of raping two girls under the age of 16. Reports also indicate Becker was accused of throwing wild parties for teens at his home complete with drugs and pornography.
Hallandale Beach Police say they are not aware of other victims but investigators tell CBS 4 News that any other victims should contact the Hallandale Beach Police department.