Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Great news this week in our campaign to eliminate the backlog of untested sexual assault kits. The latest progress report just issued by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows the state processed more than 6,000 kits. I am thrilled by the progress we have made as we approach our goal of testing 8,600 by June of 2019.
Processing these previously untested kits unlocks DNA evidence that can be used to solve crimes and bring some closure to sexual assault victims. So far testing these kits has produced 1,461 hits in key DNA databases. One of those DNA matches led to the recent arrest of a Virginia man on charges related to a 20-year-old sexual battery in Fort Myers. Our campaign to eliminate the backlog breathed new life into this cold case—and I believe more cases will be solved through our efforts.
In 2015, I gathered law enforcement, prosecutors, sexual assault survivors and advocates together to request that the backlog be tested. In the 2016 legislative session, I worked with lawmakers to secure the funding needed to tackle this enormous task. Working together we secured the necessary resources, and today, I am encouraged by how fast we are approaching our goal.
As a career prosecutor and your Attorney General, I have seen first-hand the power of DNA evidence in catching and prosecuting sexual predators—and that is why this campaign is so important. I want to thank FDLE, our state legislature and everyone working to eliminate the backlog, catch sexual predators and help the victims of these horrific crimes heal.
Attorney General Bondi’s Statement on Passage of SB 8 by the Senate Appropriations Committee
Attorney General Pam Bondi issued the following statement on the unanimous approval of SB 8 by the Senate Appropriations Committee:
“I am thrilled this life-saving legislation is moving quickly through the legislature. We must continue our fight to end the opioid crisis that is claiming more than 14 lives a day in our state.”
Pensacola Resident Convicted of Exploitation of the Elderly
Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the conviction of a Pensacola man for exploiting and fraudulently using the personal identification information of a legally blind elderly victim. After deliberating for nine hours, the jury found John Louis Wages, 45, guilty as charged on both counts.
After receiving a copy of an anonymous report from the Florida Department of Children and Families Elder Abuse hotline, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit initiated an investigation into the accusations. According to the report, Wages used an elderly victim’s money and credit card without consent of the victim while under Wages care. More.
Consumer Alert: Legendary Journeys, Inc. Claims Due May 14
Attorney General Pam Bondi issued a Consumer Alert about Legendary Journeys, Inc., a Sarasota-based travel agency that has closed its doors and filed an assignment for the benefit of creditors proceeding in state court. Customers who booked travel through Legendary Journeys, and had travel plans cancelled due to the closing of the company, may be eligible for a refund of deposits paid and/or a refund of travel insurance premiums paid. More.
Tampa Man Arrested for Illegal Practice of Dentistry
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced the arrest of Abdel Rahman Hussein Rabah, 42, of Tampa, for unlicensed practice of a health care profession and practice of dentistry or dental hygiene without a license. Authorities arrested Rabah at the illegal dental practice established at 6441 Eureka Springs Road, Tampa.
In December 2017, the Department of Health contacted FDLE agents regarding complaints of Rabah practicing dentistry without a license. According to the investigation, Rabah posted photos on social media accounts of his dentistry work, but did not hold an active license to practice dentistry. Additionally, Rabah allegedly sometimes referred to himself as Dr. Abdel Rahman. Investigators also learned that Rabah discarded trash at his residence containing used syringes, extracted teeth, bloodied paper towels and bloodied dental gauzes.
Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case. Homeland Security Investigations, the Florida Department of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.
Rabah was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail on a bond of $30,000.
Attorney General Bondi meeting with pastors from the National Americans of Faith Alliance Political Action Committee
Attorney General Bondi discussing her priorities since taking office with Florida’s future leaders and student interns from the University of South Florida.
Attorney General Bondi welcoming members of the Florida Land Council to the Florida Capitol.