Man charged with sexual battery

A 62 year old Big Pine Key man was arrested Friday, charged with sexual battery on a 23 year old woman.

The victim told Major Crimes Detective Deb Ryan the suspect, Lazaro Tapia, is a family friend. She said he gave her a ride the night of March 2nd to find a friend of hers she was going to hang out with.

When they couldn’t find the victim’s friend, Tapia asked her to come see his new apartment. Once there, he offered her a beer, then a second beer. She said she suddenly began to feel very tired. Tapia offered to let her sleep in his bed while he slept in a chair.

The victim said she awoke to find him lying on top of her. Her pants had been pulled down and her underwear had been moved and he was attempting to rape her. She screamed and shove him away. She put on her clothing and ran outside, yelling for help. She ran to a nearby house, telling the occupant she’d been raped.

After further investigation, Detective Ryan obtained a warrant for Tapia’s arrest. On Friday, he was charged with sexual battery and he was booked into jail.

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