SEMINOLE – Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Largo man Jan. 12 in connection with a rape of a 17-year-old female behind the Target store in Seminole the night of Jan. 11.
Raheem Willis Bell, 21, was charged with one count of sexual battery and one count of violation of parole on a prior child abuse charge. According to jail reports, Bell was arrested on March 6, 2012 and charged with lewd or lascivious battery.
According to detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit, Bell was walking with the victim behind Target, 4450 Park Street N., about 8:30 p.m. Friday. While behind the store, Bell told the victim to remove her pants. She refused, and Bell then forcibly removed her pants and performed sexual intercourse on her against her will.
After raping the victim, Bell left her alone and partially nude behind the store. The victim was able to make contact with known adults, who in turn called the Sheriff’s Office.
Members of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes Sheriff’s deputies and St. Petersburg Police officers, later located Bell and took him into custody. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail at 7:37 a.m. Jan. 12. No bond was set.
Investigators believe that pedestrian or vehicle traffic behind the Target last night may have seen the victim and suspect together and are asking anyone with information to contact the Pinellas County Crimes Against Children Unit at 727-582-6200.