Authorities arrest North Port suspect in sexual assault of an elderly woman

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:
Mugshot of Robert Junior McKenzie, 28. (Credit: West Virginia corrections)
Mugshot of Robert Junior McKenzie, 28. (Credit: West Virginia corrections)

After a three-week search for the person in a gruesome sexual assault of an elderly woman in North Port, a suspect has been arrested after he fled to West Virginia.

The suspect, Robert Junior McKenzie, 28, faces charges of sexual battery, and battery on someone 65-years and older in North Port. While in West Virginia, McKenzie faces charges of possession of a controlled substance, false info to law enforcement, carrying a concealed weapon by a convicted felon, and conspiracy.

Police sketch of a man reportedly accused of a sexual assault of a woman in North Port Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019. (Credit: North Port Police Department)

Between 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Dec. 8, McKenzie allegedly sexually assaulted the victim at a Gazebo along the 13000 block of Tamiami Trail near Pan American Blvd. According to the police report, McKenzie threatened to kill the elderly woman if she would not be quiet. The victim provided a description to a sketch artist one week later, which law enforcement believes led the suspect to flee the area once it became public.

Cathy Canterbury, who lives in Charlotte County, said she feels sorry for the “homeless” victim.

“When you put yourself out there and you’re sleeping on the streets,” Canterbury said, “you know anything can happen that makes yourself susceptible to crime.

Cannon Wein, whose mother is around the same age as the victim, 72, wants the suspect to get “life in prison.”

”I’m glad that they caught the suspect and hopefully they can follow the evidence and get a conviction,” Wein said.

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