Beaufort man sentenced 20 years for ‘brutal’ rape of housekeeper at Hardeeville hotel

Hardeeville Police Department

A Beaufort man was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the violent rape of a housekeeper at a Hardeeville hotel, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Derrick Emmanuel Roseberry, 41, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and second-degree burglary in his 2021 assault of the 39-year-old mother of three. Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Bonds handed down the sentence.

The attack took place in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, 2021 at Hardeeville’s Econo Lodge off I-95, as a female housekeeper cleaned a room on the building’s second floor. Prosecutors testified Roseberry came into the room behind her, closed the door and shut the curtains.

When the woman tried yelling for help and calling 911, Roseberry grabbed her by the neck, took her phone and forced her into the bathroom, where he sexually assaulted her. Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward said the mother was “held captive” in the room for 30 minutes, according to previous reporting.

Police arrested Roseberry the following morning, spotting the man walking near Hardeeville’s Exit 8 with a blanket over his head. He was wearing the same clothing captured by hotel security cameras the night before, according to the Tuesday press release.

In addition to DNA linking Roseberry to the sexual assault, the victim also identified the man as her rapist in a photo lineup, police said. Detectives were already familiar with Roseberry, who had previously been cited for trespassing at other local hotels.

“This lady went through a tremendous, brutal attack for a long period of time, and I just want the public to know he is no longer on the streets of Jasper County,” Woodward said in a video statement following Roseberry’s arrest.