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Sex offender accused of raping Fort Pierce woman

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Andrew Halla, a registered sex offender, is accused of raping a neighbor in Fort Pierce. Image Courtesy: St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

The St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office arrested a registered sex offender after one of his neighbors accused him of rape.

The woman told investigators 47-year-old Andrew Halla entered her home in Fort Pierce, forced her into a bedroom where he held her down and had sex with her.

According to investigators, the woman said she was at Halla's trailer on March 15 drinking alcohol. The woman said Halla rubbed his genitals against her. The woman said Halla denied touching her inappropriately, but it sparked an argument between Halla and his wife, The woman left the trailer, authorities said.

The woman told investigators Halla then came to her trailer to pick up some of his belongings. The woman told detectives he stayed in a spare room after being kicked out by his wife. As he walked to the room, she said Halla grabbed her and forced himself on her. According to the report, the woman said Halla told her "she was asking for it."

According to investigators, the woman said she was afraid to call 911 due to retaliation, but friends ultimately encouraged her to make the call. The woman says she knows Halla is a sex offender and has a violent criminal past.

Halla, according to the Sheriff's Office, has a statewide history of criminal convictions for aggravated battery, sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to register as a sex offender.

“The bravery of this victim to come forward is to be commended,” said Sheriff Ken J. Mascara. “It was clear in her interview with detectives that she was aware of Halla’s violent past and was fearful of him, but she still knew coming forward was important.”

Halla is facing one count of sexual battery.

The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence estimates 1 in 6 women in Florida are sexually assaulted at some point in their life. Victims are encouraged to come forward. The organization has a list of resources and information on its website to help victims find the help they need.



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