On March 15, in the courtroom of the Honorable Judge Richard “Ric” Howard, a jury found 34-year-old Rapheal Malik Akbar Arnold of Oviedo guilty on one count of Capital Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12.
Arnold was consequently sentenced to life in prison.
Nearly two years ago, on May 7, 2020, allegations of sexual abuse were reported to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). Detective Ricci with the CCSO Special Victims Unit (SVU) immediately began investigating the allegations.
The juvenile victim was interviewed by the Child Protection Team (CPT) members at Jessie’s Place, the Citrus County Child Advocacy Center.
During this interview, it was determined numerous instances of sexual abuse had taken place at a residence located in Crystal River, as well as at multiple other locations throughout the state.
Based on the results of this investigation, a warrant was issued for Arnold’s arrest for the charge of Sexual Battery on a Child Under 12. Members of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Fugitive Task Force located Arnold in North Carolina on July 25, 2020, where he was taken into custody for this warrant.
Arnold was later transported to Citrus County to await trial, where he was held until his sentencing yesterday.
“Another predator has been removed from society due to the amazing work by CCSO detectives, the Child Protection Team, and the United States Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force. The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office remains steadfast in its mission to make our community safe and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “It is my hope that Arnold’s sentencing will finally allow the victim to begin the healing process.”