Diligence pays off as Wildwood detectives solve 44-year-old sexual battery case

Wildwood detectives are being lauded for solving a 44-year-old sexual battery case.

Officers found out about the incident on Nov. 13, 2018 when the 48-year-old victim came forward and reported that she had been sexually battered by her stepfather. The woman said the incidents took place over a span of 10 years, from 1974-84, when she was 3 to 12 years of age.

Joseph Boone

At the time of the assaults, police say the stepfather, 76-year-old Joseph Lee Boone, lived with the victim and her mother on Stewart Street in Wildwood. Since then, Boone had relocated to Vidalia, Ga., where he has been living with his current wife.

The Wildwood Police Department’s Criminal Investigations unit took on the case, which was made extremely difficult because of the delay in reporting the crime, the lack of forensic or physical evidence and the fact that Boone lives in another state.

But that didn’t stop detectives from pursuing an arrest. They made multiple trips to Georgia in an attempt to locate Boone and interview him. And thanks to some networking with local law enforcement in Georgia, that interview finally took place at Boone’s home.

After speaking with Boone for three hours, police say he confessed to four counts of sexual battery on a child less than 12 years of age. And he repeatedly said he was sorry for what he had done, a police report states.

Wildwood detectives returned to Florida and met with the victim, who broke down in tears after hearing the news. Detectives then completed an arrest warrant for Boone for sexual battery on a juvenile less than 12 years of age by a person in familial or custodial authority. That warrant also demands that he be returned to Sumter County to face charges.

Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to call Detective David Clarkson at (352) 661-6908. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call Crimeline at 1-800-423 TIPS (8477).