A Lakeland man has been convicted of raping a woman at gunpoint in her home in 2017.
Jerald Dixon, 26, faces life in prison after jurors deliberated for 30 minutes before finding him guilty of sexual battery. Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney is scheduled to sentence Dixon on Jan. 24.
At 5 a.m. on June 18, Dixon entered the Lakeland home after removing an air conditioning unit.
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson told jurors the victim was asleep when she heard a noise outside the home. Seconds later, she saw a man wearing a shirt over his face climb through the window armed with a handgun.
“Don’t move,” he said, holding her at gunpoint.
He demanded she take off her clothes then raped the woman. Dixon then ordered her to walk him out of the house.
The woman told her roommates about the rape before they heard a noise outside the home. It was Dixon climbing back inside the woman’s room through the same the window.
A roommate tackled Dixon once he re-entered the room. The victim recognized it was the person who raped her when she passed her room to leave the home.
Roommates detained Dixon until Polk County Sheriff’s detectives arrived to arrest him.
State Attorney Brian Haas thanks Assistant State Attorney Swenson and Sheriff’s detectives for their work on the case.