Sex offender accused of tackling, raping woman in Fort Lauderdale arrested

James Hodge faces 3 counts of sexual battery by force

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor , Carlos Suarez - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man suspected of tackling a woman and raping her in Fort Lauderdale has been arrested.

Fort Lauderdale police said James Hodge was arrested Wednesday. He faces three counts of sexual battery by force.

"The state believes Mr. Hodge poses a significant risk of harm to not only the alleged victim in this case, but the community, your honor," an attorney said in court. "Particularly women in the community." 

Police said the woman was walking in the 2600 block of Middle River Drive on Oct. 5 when she was approached by a man who tackled and raped her on the front lawn of an apartment complex.

According to an arrest report, the woman lost consciousness when Hodge choked her before she could scream for help.

"The attack lasted for approximately 25-30 minutes," the report said.

Hodge, 41, is listed as a sex offender on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's website.

Hodge's home address since 2013 comes back to an auto repair shop in Fort Lauderdale, where his court-appointed attorney told a judge Hodge has worked the past five years.

Hodge was expected to  report to the county courthouse around his birthday in November, where he would have to confirm some personal information, including where he lives, works and the car that he drives. 

The car Hodge used the night of the rape was not registered in his sex offender record, authorities said. 

Court records show that Hodge was arrested by Coral Springs police on charges of sexual battery on a victim 12 or older in 2000. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2001.

A Broward County judge set his bond at $750,000.

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