MIAMI (AP) _ When a distraught teen-ager told police she was raped and beaten by a man wearing a hat with flashing lights, officers at first were doubtful.
But the 17-year-old high school student’s description of the hat with blinking red lights was accurate, and a man was convicted Wednesday after a prosecutor showed it to jurors.
Its batteries were weak, but it still blinked.
Circuit Judge Ted Mastos set a sentencing date of March 19 for Richard Utan Bailey, 19, convicted of three counts of armed sexual battery and of kidnapping, armed robbery and gun violations.
He faces a maximum of five life terms plus 15 years in prison.
The girl got lost while going to visit a friend April 5, and was telephoning for directions when Bailey offered to show her the way if she gave him a lift.
Instead, he pulled a gun and forced her to drive to a ″nice residential neighborhood,″ said Metro-Dade Detective Ellen Christopher.
The girl was assaulted, beaten and threatened with death, police said.
″It was vicious. She is still emotionally upset,″ said Assistant State Attorney Scott Sakin, who prosecuted the case.
The girl’s car was found the day after the attack.
″When the police stopped him, they saw this hat blinking,″ Sakin said.
While awaiting trial, Bailey wrote the victim threatening letters, police said. He is also wanted in New York on three warrants charging him with robbery and rape, officials said.