Starke man charged with downtown Gainesville rape in April 2022


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Telvin Rudolph Sweeting, 31, of Starke, was arrested yesterday and charged with sexual battery and robbery related to an April 16, 2022, incident in downtown Gainesville.

A Gainesville Police Department officer responded to a call from a bystander early in the morning of April 16; the victim told the officer that she had been drinking the night before with friends in downtown Gainesville and had awakened in the back seat of a car with an unknown man on top of her. She said the man was climbing off her and pulling up his pants, and she realized that she had been raped.

She said she didn’t know where she was, and when she asked the man what his name was, he said, “Brandon.” He told her they were in a park. She said he drove her back to her car, which wasn’t where she had left it; he said she had moved the car, but she didn’t remember doing that. She said the man had her keys and opened her car door; she said she immediately ran to her car and found her cell phone, which was damaged, although it had been fine earlier in the night. She redialed the last person she had spoken to and reportedly started telling that person that she had been raped and was going to call the police. At the same time, she said, she was trying to take pictures of the man’s car.

The victim said the man snatched the phone from her hand, and she got into a physical struggle with him while trying to get it back. He left, and she said she chased his car around the city, hitting his car multiple times, in an effort to get the attention of law enforcement. At 13 NW 10th Avenue, she said, she hit his car one last time and lost him. She asked a random bystander to call 911.

She reportedly described the suspect’s car as a white four-door sedan. She went to the hospital and completed a Sexual Assault Kit, which was sent for testing. The report showed a match for the DNA on the internal vaginal swab with Telvin Sweeting, but the victim was reportedly unable to positively identify Sweeting in a photo line-up.

Sweeting owns a silver Hyundai sedan, which was seen on a license plate reader in Gainesville at about 5 p.m. on April 15; the vehicle in that picture has no damage to the rear bumper. His car was picked up by a license plate reader in Lakeland at about 12:30 p.m. on April 16, and that picture showed clear damage to his rear bumper.

Sweeting was arrested yesterday; post Miranda, he reportedly denied any memory of any of the events described by the victim. He also denied getting into a crash that damaged his car. A detective showed him the pictures of his car, with and without damage; Sweeting reportedly said he was involved in a hit-and-run in Daytona. When the detective questioned him on when he was in Daytona because the camera images showed him in Gainesville and Lakeland, he reportedly refused to answer further questions.

Sweeting was arrested on April 11, 2022, just four days before this incident began on the night of April 15, and charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He posted $10,000 bond the same day and was released; the marijuana charge was later dropped, but he is still awaiting trial on the firearm possession charge.

Sweeting has nine felony convictions (one violent) and seven misdemeanor convictions (one violent). He has served four state prison sentences, with his most recent release in July 2021.

Bail information is unavailable.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • Anyone else notice a pattern to the ‘types’ of criminals that make up a large majority of the violent criminals? Ever since the local newspapers stopped publishing mug shots (I wonder why?) that obviously highlighted the culture of the majority of arrests. I wonder why they stopped showing them???

    • He gotta neck tattoo is a pattern why newspapers stopped publishing photos..

    • We all know why they stopped showing them but The Chronical does. Furthermore we all know who they are.

  • What took so long? They should have removed him from the streets a lot sooner.

    • DNA takes several months for FDLE to confirm a match. It’s not like on TV (such as CSI Miami) where cops just insert DNA into a machine and get an instant match.

  • “Brandon?”
    Geeze, are they all detrimental to society?

      • If you think your Brandon has been good for this country, your’s comes into question.
        You’re welcome.

  • Walter Green strikes again- he’s the judge who only gave this guy a $5k bond on the firearm charge (which is supposed to be a 3-year minimum mandatory). Same on the drug charge.
    And ONCE AGAIN, a dangerous criminal is enabled to get right back out & continue victimizing people.
    Sexual battery, in this case…

  • See judges, your low bonds have consequences! There is no way he should have been let out of jail on a ten thousand dollar bond so he could commit this crime in the first place!!

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