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Man arrested in sexual assault on Clearwater student

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 12, 2013 at 01:01 PM

A Clearwater man was arrested today for the Dec. 18 sexual battery of a 17-year-old girl kidnapped as she walked to a school bus stop in unincorporated Clearwater, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

Dustin Kennedy, 28, was charged with sexual battery, attempted felony murder, strong armed robbery and kidnapping, the sheriff's office said.

Investigators used DNA to identify Kennedy as the suspect, the sheriff's office said. He admitted to the crime after he was arrested, deputies said.

Kennedy, who had prior convictions for burglary and grand theft in Hillsborough County, was arrested at a Goodwill/Largo Residential Re-Entry Center, 16432 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater. At the facility, Kennedy is under the supervision of the Florida Department of Corrections, the sheriff's office said.

According to the sheriff's office, Kennedy grabbed the victim from behind as she walked to the school bus stop in the area of Whitney Road and Whitney Drive in unincorporated Clearwater.

He dragged the victim to a nearby ditch, choked her until she was unconscious and then sexually battered her, the sheriff's office said.

Kennedy also stole the victim's two cell phones, which were recovered when he was arrested, deputies said.

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