A Palm Coast man faces up to 30 years in prison after being convicted Friday of raping a teenage girl.
Jurors deliberated for nearly four hours before finding Kwentel Moultrie, 23, guilty of sexually assaulting a victim under 18, a first-degree felony.
This was Moultrie’s second trial for the charge. Jurors were unable to reach a verdict earlier this year, prompting a mistrial.
The girl did not testify at either trial.
Judge Terence Perkins will set a sentencing date at a later date.
Moultrie is also charged with second-degree murder in a separate case involving an attempted drug bust, according to court records.
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Moultrie raped the 16-year-old girl in 2019 when she was 20, according to court documents. Moultrie and a friend joined the girl and her friends on June 21, 2019, according to testimony.
The 16-year-old had been drinking alcohol that night with at least one of her friends. Both were intoxicated, according to witnesses.
The group ended up at the home of one of the girls’ sisters in Palm Coast. That’s where Moultrie raped her, investigators said.
Moultrie testified during the trial and said the sex was consensual.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Melissa Clark said Moultrie lied about having sex with the girl when first questioned by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Among the witnesses called to the stand during the trial was one of the girls present that night. The girl testified that the 16-year-old was upset and said Moultrie raped her.
The girl testified that she texted Moultrie after the incident and asked if Moultrie had had sex with her friend. he denied it.
Clark said DNA showed Moultrie had sex with the 16-year-old.
Moultrie was represented by Assistant Public Defender Regina Nunnally, who also defended him in the first trial.
Nunnally argued that the prosecutor had shown that Moultrie and the girl had sex that night, but not that it was rape.
Under Florida law, a 16-year-old can consent to have sex with someone up to 23 years old. But a person 24 or older who has sex with a 16- or 17-year-old is committing a second-degree felony.
Suspected drug dealer fatally shot in Palm Coast
Moultrie is also charged with felony murder and armed burglary.
These charges stem from a shooting at approximately 9:30 p.m. on December 29, 2021, that left one person dead at a home on Regent Lane in Palm Coast.
Moultrie and Taylor Renee Manjarres, 20, also of Palm Coast, and Zaire Roberts, 23, whose residence was listed as Jacksonville, planned to buy drugs from the resident but instead attempted to rob him of the drugs, according to with the sheriff’s office. .
Manjarres distracted the resident while Moultrie and Roberts entered the home, the release said. The resident, who is not identified in the charging affidavit, confronted Roberts. Roberts shot the resident twice, and the resident returned fire at Roberts in self-defense, killing him, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Roberts died at the scene from his injuries.
Moultrie fired a shot into the house with his own gun as he ran down the street.
Manjarres then ran from the home and down the street, the charging affidavit said.
Moultrie and Manjarres have pretrial hearings scheduled for Sept. 14 in the murder case.
Roberts was sentenced in 2016 to seven years in prison for shooting and critically wounding a former high school football star named Phillip Haire Jr. in 2015 in the L section of Palm Coast. Haire had played football for Mainland High School in Daytona Beach and then Matanzas High School in Palm Coast.
Roberts had been released on parole on September 20, 2021, three months before he died in the shootout. At the time of his release, he listed an address in Georgia.
Remote control conflict
Moultrie also faces a felony charge of battery by a person detained in a jail or correctional facility. Moultrie is accused of trying to grab the television remote control from another inmate, Oleg Steven Walker, at the Flagler County Jail on May 29, according to an affidavit. When Moultrie failed to take the remote from Walker, he grabbed Walker’s glasses from his face, scratching Walker above his right eye in the process, according to a charging affidavit.
Walker then placed the remote control on the table in the day room area and Moultrie returned the glasses and took the remote control, the affidavit said.
This article originally appeared in The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Palm Coast man convicted of rape, still faces murder charges