Deputies: Florida man raped 8-year-old, said her ‘actions suggested consent’

MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) — A Florida man is accused of luring an 8-year-old girl into his home and then raping her.

Sydney Allan Markland, 68, was arrested Friday after a months-long investigation into the alleged rape.

Deputies said the 8-year-old victim lived in Markland’s neighborhood. In July of 2016, the victim was walking to a friend’s house down the street when Markland approached her and asked if she could help him carry some fried chicken into his house.

The girl told deputies that since Markland appeared injured, she helped him.

When she was in his house, Markland sexually battered her and told her not to tell anyone, deputies said.

Detectives obtained DNA samples from the victim’s clothing, and after several months, results from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Crime Lab concluded that the samples positively matched Markland’s DNA profile, deputies said.

Markland told deputies the girl was wearing provocative clothing and said her “actions” suggested that she was consenting to sexual contact, the sheriff’s office said.

Markland is charged with sexual assault on a victim under 12 years old.

Investigators said Markland may have assaulted other children and anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Marion County at 352-368-STOP.

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