• Familial DNA technology leads police to Jacksonville sexual battery suspect

    By: Action News Jax

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sheriff Mike Williams, of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, announced the arrest of a sexual battery suspect Wednesday morning in a news conference. 

    The suspect is linked to several sexual batteries that occurred in Jacksonville between 2006 and 2009, according to JSO. 

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    Brandon Young, 34, a former nursing assistant at Baptist Health and St. Vincents, is being charged with multiple counts of sexual battery, officials said. 

    Police said Young would meet up with victims in social settings and get them isolated. He's accused of sexually battering at least eight women.

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    Police said during a 2016/2017 sexual assault kit initative, investigators linked Young to several sexual batteries through familial DNA technology, which led them to a match of Young's brother, when he was arrested for a felony.  

    A warrant was then issued for Young's DNA, and police said, his DNA was a match.

    Police say he was arrested without incident at his home in Middleburg in July.

    It's the first arrest the Sheriff's Office has made through familial DNA.

    Young faces six counts of sexual battery, one count of sexual battery, and two counts of false imprisonment -- facing up to life in prison. 

    Action News Jax reported on Young in 2016 after he was accused of sexually abusing an elderly woman in his care, but he did not face charges. Young was also a volunteer coach until last year. 

    Baptist Health told Action News Jax Young was fired last month. They released the following statement:

    "We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the allegations regarding Brandon Young's alleged assaults on women in the Jacksonville community. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected, and we are fully cooperating with law enforcement's active investigation.

    Young was formerly a Flex Team member at Baptist, scheduled on an as-needed basis. He was an employee for one year who was suspended when we were notified of the allegations and has since been terminated. 

    We are extremely committed to the safety of our team members, volunteers, patients and visitors and we care deeply about the well-being of the greater Jacksonville community. So, while we already follow industry best practice for employee background screening, we are using this as an opportunity to review that process to ensure it is as effective as possible and would encourage other employers, in any industry, to consider doing so as well." 

    Details of the alleged Crimes: 

    • Police say in 2006 a woman was lost and pulled into a parking lot off St. Johns Bluff on the Southside. She told police Young forced his way into her car and raped her. The report says Young told the woman "I know where you live. I'm going to come kill you" repeating her address to her. 
    • In 2007 a woman told police she met Young at a nightclub, when the two left together. Young assaulted her in a car. 
    • The next year, 2008, another woman who says she met Young while working at a drive thru, says he picked her up, forced himself on her in a parking lot and sexually battered her.
    • The most violent accusations came in 2009 when police said Brandon Young pulled a woman by her hair into his car,  pointed a gun at her and raped her. 

    In 2016, Action News Jax reported that the Florida Department of Health looked into accusations that Young fondled a 74-year-old patient while he worked at St. Vincents, but he was never arrested. 

    Documents of the state investigation were wiped  from its database. The Department of health sent Action News Jax a copy of a past emergency order against Young and an email saying, "That case was later dismissed so the order was removed from the license verification website." 

    An administrative law judge ruled the state "failed to prove" Young committed sexual misconduct.

    According to Florida State Statute, the health department is required to report the alleged criminal violation to police, but we learned neither the State Attorney's Office or JSO were ever told of the 2016 investigation.

    Young was hired by Baptist hospital in 2018. 

    Baptist says it was not aware of the accusations against Young when he was hired.

    Young was terminated in July.

    The police report for the 74-year-old victim says that hospital staff reported the incident to the Florida Department of Health. During their investigation Young denied the allegations.   
     

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