A Niceville man is under arrest after an alleged sexual assault during the early hours of May 21.
The incident occurred on the shoulder of eastbound Highway 98 near the U.S Coast Guard station on Okaloosa Island.
The victim and her companion had parked their Peterbilt Tractor Truck on the island for the night.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputies investigating the incident believe that at approximately 4:00 am, the accused, 23-year-old Taylor Copeland, approached the truck. The victim was awakened by the presence of a naked person who engaged in alleged non-consensual sexual acts involving his mouth and hand.
The companion, who was also sleeping in the truck, reacted to the situation and engaged in a physical altercation with the intruder, resulting in visible injuries to Copeland.
Copeland was later apprehended and admitted to the crimes after being read his Miranda rights. According to his statement, he unlawfully entered the Peterbilt Tractor Truck and engaged in sexual acts without the victim’s consent. The accused claimed to have been returning home from Coyote Ugly, a Destin bar, necessitating passage by the truck.
Law enforcement discovered a pair of men’s Calvin Klein underwear left at the scene, which is considered additional evidence linking the suspect to the incident. Witness Knight confirmed that the underwear did not belong to him, further supporting the case against the accused.
. If convicted, the suspect could face severe penalties under Florida law.
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