Convicted sex predator back behind bars

- The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says 52-year-old Lee Roy Rettley attempted to assault a woman with whom he was acquaintances.

Thursday morning, the woman, whose name is being kept confidential, was on the phone with a neighbor. After hanging up, she went to her neighbor's house when she saw Rettley looking at that neighbor's air conditioning vent.

When the woman left, she returned home to find Rettley in her living room. As she attempted to call 911, but Rettley attacked.

"Rettley grabbed the victim in a chokehold as they fought throughout the residence to the bedroom," said Major James Powers of the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. "During the struggle, the victim was able to fight back and strike Rettley in the head with an object. However, at this point, she blacked out due to the pressure of the chokehold on her neck."

Investigators say the struggle continued for several minutes. During the attack, Rettley threatened her life.

"The victim stated during the attack, Rettley stated, 'I am going to kill you because you are going to call the cops when I leave,'" said Major Powers.

Deputies say the woman aggressively fought back and cried for help. Neighbors heard the victim's cry for help and called 911.

They found Rettley hiding in a storm drain, behind Hernando High School's football stadium. A man who has been convicted of sexual battery of a child under 12 -- found on school property.

Of the attack, Rettley told deputies he "snapped." He did not resist arrest.

"One of the things he told me was that what he did, he has to answer for. Take that as an apology or whatever it is," said Detective Brian Stephens.

Hernando deputies say this is an isolated incident. When asked if Rettley should have been on the street, police say they have no answer for that. They did say that they check on sexual offenders and predators about every three months.

Records show Rettley has a lengthy record, including convictions of sexual battery in Palm Beach and Duval counties, back in 1987. He was most recently released from jail back in February. He was being held for not registering as a sexual predator.            

Despite her injuries, the victim has been released from the hospital.

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