A Lakeland man was recently sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping a woman at gunpoint in her Lakeland home in 2017.
Circuit Judge Kevin Abdoney also designated Jerald Dixon, Jr., 27, a sexual predator and ordered him to serve 10 years of probation when he is released.
Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Swenson read a statement from the victim before Abdoney sentenced Dixon.
“I stare at my window praying to God no one else hurts me like he did,” the victim wrote. “I will never feel safe in my life again after all he has done.”
“And the worst of this is when I have nightmares of what he did I just keep wishing he pulled that trigger and killed me.”
In December, jurors deliberated for 30 minutes before finding Dixon guilty of sexual battery.
Jurors heard that at 5 a.m. on June 18, 2017, Dixon entered the Lakeland home after removing an air conditioning unit.
During the trial, 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.