Man accused of drugging, raping woman; another suspect still unknown

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A man has been booked into the Escambia County Jail charged with sexual assault for a crime that happened more than 10 years ago.

Aaron Bates, 37, is accused of drugging and raping a woman on Sept. 27, 2009.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office responded early that morning to a sexual battery and deputies found the victim upset, in pain and vomiting into a trash can.

She told deputies she left her home with a friend who took her to a house where several other people she didn’t know were hanging out. She said her friend then left her at the house. She said she was drinking an unknown brand liquor and said she believed someone drugged her. She said the last thing she remembered was sitting on a couch waiting for her friend to return.

She said she remembered lying naked on a bed with two men in the room who were raping her. She said she was going in and out of consciousness and she remembered one man telling her they put her in the shower because she vomited on herself.

The victim identified Bates in a photo line-up on October 7, 2009. Investigators were unable to locate the suspect who had other active warrants from ECSO.

On January 14, 2014, a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement provided a match between the evidence in the case and the DNA on file for Bates. At that time, the victim said she still wanted to pursue charges.

At the time, Bates still had six more years to serve in a Mississippi prison.

Although the four-year statute of limitations has expired, Florida law states “The period of limitation does not run during any time when the defendant is continuously absent from the state or has no reasonably ascertainable place of abode or work within the state.”

Bates is being held on a $200,000 bond. The second suspect is still unknown.

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