Local St. Johns County reporters for Historic City News have learned that a 47 year-old man has been arrested this morning on a charge of sexual battery stemming from an incident that reportedly occurred on Wednesday afternoon.
Gumaro Garita, who is apparently living in a hotel, was booked into the County Jail and being held in lieu of $75,000 bond following his first appearance hearing this morning. He is also being held on an outstanding warrant for petit theft from Duval County.
The female victim, who is over the age of 18, told deputies that the suspect, a manager at Third Street Diner located at SR-16 and I-95, hired her on Tuesday.
After completing her shift Wednesday afternoon, the victim says that the suspect asked her if she needed money until payday. The victim told deputies that she told Garita that she could use $10 for gas and would pay it back on payday.
According to the victim, Garita told the victim that he would get her the money when he purchased cigarettes, so they got into his vehicle and left the restaurant. The victim said that she believed they were going to an A.T.M. machine; however, Garita reportedly drove to a nearby motel where he claims to reside.
Garita told the victim that he had to run up to the room and he would return shortly. The victim stated that she needed to use the restroom so she accompanied Garita to his room.
The victim claims Garita forcibly removed her pants and allegedly committed sexual battery on her as she was screaming for him to stop. Following the incident, the victim says that she ran out of the room and called for a friend to pick her up.
After she called the Sheriff’s Office to report the incident, the victim transported herself to Flagler Hospital.
The suspect was located late yesterday evening and was brought in for questioning. Garita told detectives that the incident was consensual; however, Garita was taken into custody.