NewsPinellas County


DOJ: Rapist found in Florida after more than 40 years as fugitive

Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 05, 2020

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A convicted rapist has been arrested in Florida more than 40 years after skipping out on his Connecticut prison sentence and assuming a stolen identity.

Court records show 76-year-old Douglas Bennett was arrested Wednesday at his Clearwater home and charged with passport fraud and aggravated identity theft.

"They waited for him to come out down the street and then they stopped him and held him at gunpoint to bring him back," said neighbor Vince Stegura.

According to a criminal complaint, Bennett submitted a passport application in July 2016 using the name, date of birth and Social Security number of a person who was born in 1940 and died in 1945.

The complaint says emergency contact information in the application led investigators to suspect Bennett’s true identity, which they confirmed with fingerprints after his arrest.

"It’s unbelievable," said John Ouimett. "It’s just unbelievable. I’ve known this guy. He’s a very quiet guy."

A Connecticut jury found Bennett guilty of robbery, rape, sexual assault and kidnapping in 1975.