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Neighbor on teen rape: "It's disgusting."

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Updated: 7/17/2013 8:51 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Right this minute, a local man is in jail, accused of kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl.

The girl was reported missing early Tuesday.  When police retraced her steps along a wooded path, they found her.

They say she ran to them, told officers she had been grabbed from behind, pulled into an abandoned duplex and raped. As she was talking to police, they say they noticed a man matching the description of the attacker walking down the street, not far from the crime scene.  They say that man was Thaddeus Anderson, 21. 

He was arrested and charged with sexual battery, kidnapping, and burglary.

Neighbors say it was only a matter of time before something terrible happened in that abandoned duplex on Pinevalley Lane.  Since the owners of the two units died, they say it's become a haven for squatters and drug users.

"It's disgusting," said neighbor Larry Blake.

Troy Smith lives just a few doors down from the crime scene.  He said, "It's just not safe to know that these houses are abandoned and people are going in there and doing those type of things."

He said behind the duplex is a wooded path that many people use as a shortcut between neighborhoods off Collins Road.  It's the same shortcut police say the rape victim took to get to a friend's house.

"It's nothing but wooded area.  So, I don't know why kids would travel back there," said Smith.  "We've called the cops many times, and I guess the homeowners association, they don't want to fix the fence."

So, Action News went to work to find out who's responsible for keeping the bad guys out. We called the homeowners association.

The association emailed us a statement, sending sympathies to the victim and her family.  But saying, "Associations have no legal control regarding homes that have been abandoned by a homeowner while in the foreclosure process."

We also learned JSO has been called to Pinevalley Lane 48 times within the past year, responding to everything from shots being fired, to burglaries, to vandalism.
Smith says that number would drastically shrink if someone would simply fix this fence. But it looks like that responsibility will lie with neighbors because the owners of both units have died, and the property is in foreclosure.

Action News also discovered one side of the duplex is up for sale, and that there are offers on the table.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Ichabod - 7/18/2013 3:13 PM
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Being the Past President and Neighborhood Watch commander in our neighborhood, we were faced with the same problems of people moving out and foreclosures. We were PRO active and sought donations to install or repair fences that were used to help protect the neighborhood. We constantly patrolled the vacant houses to prevent people from breaking in and staying in the houses. We caught people on two separate occasions and called the police. All it takes is someone that in concerned for their safety and the safety of the neighbors and children in the community. The Board of Directors of that homeowners association should be ashamed of their lack of action.
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