ORLANDO, FL – Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at the Orlando Police Headquarters, as Orlando Police Chief Rolón and Volusia Sheriff Chitwood discussed a recent break in several sexual battery incidents that terrorized Florida communities from 1988 through 1998.
Detectives with the Orlando Police Department Criminal Investigations Division have linked a man to seven rape cases throughout the Central Florida area over a ten year period. According to detectives, Leslie Renald Lagrotta, 61, was armed with a weapon as he committed most of these egregious offenses that began three decades ago.
New technology, including forensic genetic genealogy, and the relentless investigative work from detectives in the Special Victims Unit who collaborated with partners at the Volusia Sheriff’s Office and Daytona Beach Police Department helped determine that Lagrotta is responsible for three sexual abuse cases reported in the City of Orlando from 1988 to 1989. Detectives also identified Lagrotta as the suspect in four additional rape incidents in Volusia County from 1992 through 1998.
In 2010, Lagrotta was arrested by the Daytona Beach Police Department and charged with Resisting an Officer with Violence. As part of that investigation, Lagrotta was notified that he needed to submit his DNA into the system. Subsequently, Lagrotta cleared his bank account and stopped any contact with family members.
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According to Sheriff Chitwood, there is a $25,000 reward for his capture, which was announced during the press conference. “All you need to do is pick up the phone and let us know where he is,” Chitwood said. Authorities also stated at the press conference they feel fairly certain that Lagrotta fled the state of Florida and possibly the county.
Authorities are asking community members to help us locate Lagrotta who is responsible for seven confirmed rape cases. If anyone has heard from Lagrotta, or knows of his whereabouts, they are asked to reach out through the anonymous tip line, Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS (8477) or www.crimeline.org or by calling our non-emergency line at 321-235-5300. Any new information can be the piece that can help bring this man to justice.