A 21-year-old man charged with raping and repeatedly striking a woman on St. Croix apologized in a text message after the assault, according to an affidavit filed by V.I. Police.
Roldeson Lazard appeared in court Wednesday, where Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris Jr. advised him that he’s potentially facing decades behind bars if convicted.
Lazard is charged with first-degree rape, which carries a minimum 10-year prison sentence and a maximum of 30 years, no part of which may be suspended. He’s also charged with first-degree assault, which carries a maximum of 15 years; false imprisonment and kidnapping, which carries a maximum of 20 years; first-degree unlawful sexual contact, which carries 15 years; as well as simple assault and battery, and disturbance of the peace by fighting.
The arrest came after a victim gave police a statement on Sept. 23, and said she had accepted a friend request from Lazard on Facebook earlier that month. They met up in person and had a pleasant conversation, and she accepted another invitation for him to meet up again, according to the affidavit.
They met in the area of Lew Muckle Elementary School, and Lazard invited her to get in his vehicle where he began kissing her, according to the affidavit. The victim said she became uncomfortable as Lazard became more physical, and she told him to stop, “but he refused to listen,” according to the affidavit.
Lazard raped her without using protection as the victim told him to stop and “that he was hurting her,” and he “squeezed her neck so tight that she was gasping for air,” according to the affidavit. The victim said she cried and tried to fight him off, and Lazard slapped her in the face repeatedly “and told her to relax.”
The victim was eventually able to get out of the car, and ran to her vehicle and locked herself inside.
She called a friend to come help, and that witness later told police “that he heard a banging noise in the background” and when he asked the victim what it was, “she stated the guy is pounding on my window,” according to the affidavit.
The witness said he was “very concerned for her safety because he has never heard her sound frantic like this before,” and he drove to the area and escorted her away from Lazard’s vehicle, which he later saw when they stopped at Sunny Isle Shopping Center. He escorted the victim to her home without further incident, but the victim said Lazard sent her messages, which she did not respond to, according to the affidavit.
Police collected evidence and reviewed the messages from Lazard’s phone number “stating that he was sorry about what happened, and he apologizes,” according to the affidavit.
Territorial Public Defender Kathryn Slade said Lazard has no prior arrests, and has lived with his parents on St. Croix for about three years. She asked that he be released to the third-party custody of his father.
Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris Jr. set bail at $150,000 and said his family may post cash or property to secure his release.