Fort Lauderdale man wanted for rape arrested

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man accused of raping a woman in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 5 has been arrested.

Fort Lauderdale Police identified the man as 41-year-old James Hodge and took him into custody, Thursday morning.

Hodge is a resident of Fort Lauderdale, officials said.

Officials said DNA evidence, along with a video of an older model Crown Victoria, led to Hodge’s arrest.

Police have charged him with sexual battery.

“That’s absolutely great, yeah, that he was arrested,” said one woman.

According to Fort Lauderdale Police, the incident took place on Oct. 5, at about 1:30 a.m., near the 2600 block of Middle River Drive.

Police said the victim was walking when she was approached by the Hodge, who then tackled the victim and sexually battered her on the front lawn of an apartment complex.

Police said Hodge manhandled the woman so much so that she couldn’t breathe and lost consciousness.

“I feel bad for her,” said Erica Fliegenspan, who lives nearby.

Hodge threatend to kill the victim if she screamed, police said.

The attack went on for about 30 minutes before Hodge left a Ford Crown Victoria.

“That’s absurb that nobody did anything,” said Fliegenspan.

The victim called police after the incident.

Police said DNA swabs from the victim led to Hodge’s arrest.

One resident of the neighborhood said she is happy that Hodge is off the streets. “I love it. I couldn’t ask for a better outcome,” she said.

Hodge is currently being held on a $750,000 bond. He is also a registered sex offender. In 2000, he spent 12 years in jail for having sex with a minor.

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