Hudson Man Accused of Vicious Rape of Hitchhiker

A 20-year-old hitchhiker told deputies she was picked up at 1 a.m. Sunday by a man who took her to his Hudson mobile home, bound her with tape, beat her in the head with a gun and raped her.

The woman fled the house without her clothes and ran to a nearby home for help, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll said. Deputies went to the home where the woman said she was attacked and arrested Eric Richards, 40, on charges of sexual battery and aggravated battery.

Richards admitted to having “sex with her at his residence, but denied forcing her or beating her,” a Sheriff’s Office report states. A gun was found inside his home at 13233 Jacaranda Lane and, when authorities arrived, the woman’s clothes and the bedsheets were in the dryer, the report states.

The victim was treated for her injuries at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. She had severe bruising on her head and bruises and tape residue on her wrists, the report states. Her name was withheld due to the nature of the allegations.

Richards, of 13233 Jacaranda Lane in Hudson, is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $170,000 bail.

St. Petersburg Times