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Detectives searching for more possible victims after man arrested for violent sexual assault in St. Pete

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County man is behind bars after being accused of a violent sexual assault.

St. Petersburg police says Anthony Sowell, 22, kidnapped and assaulted a woman who was out with friends and met Sowell at a local bar.

According to police, Sowell took her to his relative’s house where they say she was raped and beaten for more than four hours.

Police say the woman was bound and beaten before being let go after Sowell ordered a car for her.

Investigators found Sowell in Pennsylvania and has been extradited back to Pinellas County where he has been charged with kidnapping, sexual battery.

8 On Your Side spoke with the Lyft driver who picked the victim up after the attack.

“I could tell she couldn’t believe what happened to her. She couldn’t. It had been a night, she told me, like the whole night of just horror,” said Hector Gonzalez. “Telling me, you know, ‘he raped me and tied me up. He beat me and everything.’ On repeat, almost. All the things that he had done to her. It was just horrible.”

Gonzalez said he is glad Sowell was arrested.

“I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that they got him,” he said. “Because I was really terrified after everything that happened that they weren’t going to be able to get him.”

Detectives believe he may have hurt other victims and ask if you are a victim to call 727-893-4986.

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