CBS4 Exclusive: Nearly 30-Year-Old Rape Case Solved

For nearly three decades a 45-year-old Broward woman lived with the worst of secrets: her abduction and rape by two men at age 16.

Now, as her own daughter turned 16, she summoned the courage to ask police, yet again, whether her assailants had ever been caught. That inquiry bore fruit, and an arrest was finally made, the Broward Sheriff's Office said.

Dobie Dwayne Hunter, 51, was jailed without bond Friday, charged with sexual assault with a weapon and sexual battery on a victim over 12 years of age, jail records show.

On Oct. 1, 1985, the 16-year-old was walking with a 15-year-old boy along a Fort Lauderdale street about 11 p.m. when a tan-colored four-door vehicle drove up.

The driver jumped out, ran toward the two teenagers, and grabbed the girl by her hair. She lost her shoes as he dragged her back to the vehicle and drove off, according to the arrest affidavit.

A day later she was dumped, beaten and bloody, near where she was abducted. She immediately told her family and Broward Sheriff's detectives what happened. She was examined at the Sexual Assault Treatment Center and DNA evidence was collected.

Only until her daughter's 16th birthday did the woman recall her painful memories and inquire about the long dormant investigation, sheriff's spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.

"Her daughter was 16 and she was 16 at the time of the attack and she had just been thinking about it," Moschella said. "She called and asked if there was anything we could do."

On Oct. 2, 2013, exactly 28 years to the day the attack was first reported, a detective learned the rape center still had the DNA evidence on file and that it was a match for Hunter.

The evidence was processed through the Florida DNA Investigative Support Database, which didn't exist before 1990.

Detectives interviewed the woman May 6 and she recounted her ordeal of decades earlier.

She said she momentarily blacked out when grabbed and dragged by her hair, but awoke with bloody thighs and knees inside the vehicle between two men. As they drove around, she said each man took turns having sex with her, investigators said.

The driver repeatedly punched her and threatened her with an approximately 12-inch-long pocket knife, the arrest report stated.

She was driven to an apartment somewhere in Broward, where the two men continued to sexually batter her. She was ordered to take a shower and was raped once more, the report stated.

She was dropped off near where she had been abducted, after being forced to perform another sex act in the vehicle just before dawn. The driver threatened to kill her family if she told anyone what happened, investigators said. Yet she went home, told her family and they contacted the BSO.

When shown photographs in May of possible suspects, the woman said she was 80 percent sure Hunter was involved in the attack.

It turns out Hunter was arrested Oct. 4, 1985, but not for the abduction and rape three days earlier. He was convicted of carrying a concealed firearm, Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show.

Hunter's criminal record also shows convictions for sexual assault and battery, kidnapping and cocaine possession.

He was under house arrest in 1987, when Fort Lauderdale police said he raped two teenagers and stole a car from a woman at gunpoint. Detectives filed additional charges against him after victims from two other incidents identified him, police said at the time.

Hunter was added to the FDLE registered sex offender database in 2003, records show.

He continues to maintain his innocence and even offered to counsel other inmates accused of sex crimes, Moschella said. "The opportunity has presented itself," she said.

Detectives continue to search for the second suspect, she said.

Staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report

wkroustan@tribune.com or 954-356-4303