Trial for man accused of sexually assaulting woman in racially motivated crime begins

Northwest Florida

Pensacola, Fla (WKRG) — The trial of Joshua Edwards started on Thursday at the Escambia County Courthouse in Pensacola. Edwards is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an African American woman in a racially motivated crime.

During the start of the trial, jurors heard testimony from the victim, who’s a 25-year-old mother of 2. She says Edwards asked her for a ride while she was at a gas station back in March of 2019, and when she refused, he told her he had a gun. The two drove back and fourth between Florida and Alabama while authorities say Edwards was doing drugs. The victim told jurors Edwards made her smoke something out of a cigarette.

Towards the end of the ordeal, the victim said Edwards threw her phone out of the car and then sexually assaulted her on a picnic table in a park. Not long after authorities say Edwards stole another car from a woman at gun point after crashing the first car in the woods. Both of the victims ended up calling police. Edwards was arrested.

During the trial jurors are expected to hear from the other victim and law enforcement. The defense says there’s no evidence to convict Edwards of the crimes. The State says there forensic evidence in the first victim’s car. The trial is expected to conclude on Friday.

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