final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Monroe County, Luis M.
Garcia, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 16-93-A-P
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Robert Kalter, Assistant
Public Defender, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Jonathan Tanoos, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
LOGUE, HENDON, and GORDO, JJ.
Lee Hayes was convicted by a jury of his peers of sexual
battery with physical force, kidnapping, aggravated battery
and theft. The trial court sentenced him to a mandatory term
of life imprisonment for sexual battery, a consecutive term
of life for kidnapping, a concurrent term of fifteen years
for aggravated battery and a concurrent term of 60 days for
theft. Mr. Hayes appeals his conviction and sentence arguing
he is entitled to a new trial because the State committed
fundamental error when it introduced irrelevant, prejudicial
testimony from the victim that during the sexual battery by
force Mr. Hayes told her he had done this to six other women
and he did not want to kill her. We affirm.
March 13, 2016, the victim, K.W., was walking to meet a
friend at Dillon's Pub in Tavernier after work. As she
walked down the sidewalk, she saw someone's eyeballs
peering out at her from the bushes. She froze and asked,
"What are you doing?" The person responded, "You
know what the f*** I'm doing." Immediately
thereafter, an unknown male jumped out of the bushes and
violently attacked K.W. He repeatedly punched her in the
head, face and body, dragged her when she tried to get away
and continued beating her until she became unconscious. When
K.W. awoke, her face was in the dirt and she felt shooting
pain. The male jumped on top of her and began striking her
again. He then flipped her over and she tried to resist
again. The male tried to take her pants off, but could not.
As she resisted, he ordered her to help him take her pants
off. He then raped her, took money from her purse and ordered
her to wait fifteen minutes before getting up. He told her he
would be watching to make sure she complied.
and bruised, K.W. was able to get some of her clothes on and
walk to Dillon's Pub where Deputy Luis Sanchez from the
Monroe County Sheriff's Office saw her injuries. He
immediately summoned police and an ambulance. K.W. was rushed
to the hospital. She suffered a fractured jawbone and chin,
broken orbital socket and multiple broken ribs. She sustained
golf-ball-sized bruises behind her left and right ears and
her eyes were swollen shut.
hospital, a vaginal rape kit was collected and turned over to
police for testing. Ultimately, the laboratory was able to
confirm that Mr. Hayes' DNA profile was a 1 out of 700
billion match to the foreign DNA profile found from the
victim's rape kit swabs. Detectives found that license
tag readers in the area captured his car's license plate
going northbound and southbound along the highway near the
scene of the crime at the time the crime occurred.
Surveillance video from Dunkin Donuts next to the crime scene
also depicted a car that looked like Mr. Hayes' car
coming in and later going out of the parking lot.
being read his constitutional rights, Mr. Hayes spoke to
police and denied recognizing anyone in a photographic
line-up, which included the victim. He denied ever attacking
or raping any woman at a "shopping center." This
was particularly significant to detectives because they had
not yet told Mr. Hayes the crime he was being arrested for
occurred at or near a shopping center. He denied ever being
at that shopping center or knowing anyone from Key Largo,
Tavernier, or Islamorada. Mr. Hayes was arrested and formally
trial took place over the course of four business days.
Twelve witnesses testified, including Mr. Hayes. The State
introduced DNA evidence showing that Mr. Hayes' DNA
profile was a match to the attacker, testimony of Mr.
Hayes' pre-arrest and post-arrest statements, photos and
documentation of K.W.'s injuries, video footage of Mr.
Hayes' car coming in and out of the parking lot near the
area where the crime occurred and ...