A Palm Coast man faces up to 30 years in prison after he was convicted Friday of raping a teenage girl.
A jury deliberated for nearly four hours before finding Kwentel Moultrie, 23, guilty of sexual battery of a victim under 18, a first-degree felony.
This was Moultrie's second trial for the charge. A jury could not reach a verdict earlier this year, resulting in a mistrial.
The girl did not testify at either trial.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins will set a sentencing date at a later time.
Moultrie is also charged with second-degree felony murder in a separate case involving an attempted drug rip-off, according to court records.
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Moultrie raped the 16-year-old girl in 2019 when he was 20 years old, according to court documents. Moultrie and a friend of his joined the girl and her friends on June 21, 2019, according to testimony.
The 16-year-old had been drinking alcohol that night along with at least one of her friends. Both became intoxicated, according to testimony.
The group ended up at the home of the sister of one of the girls in Palm Coast. That’s where Moultrie raped her, investigators said.
Moultrie testified during the trial and said the sex had been consensual.
But Assistant State Attorney Melissa Clark said that Moultrie lied about having sex with the girl when he was 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 that Moultrie had 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 that Moultrie had sex with the 16-year-old.
Moultrie was represented by Assistant Public Defender Reginna Nunnally, who also defended him at 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.
According to Florida law, a 16-year-old can consent to having sex with someone up to 23 years of age. But a person who is 24 or older who has sex with a 16- or 17-year-old commits a second-degree felony.
Suspect in drug deal, fatal Palm Coast shooting
Moultrie is also charged with second-degree felony murder and burglary of a dwelling while armed.
Those charges stem from a shootout about 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 29, 2021, which left one man 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, had planned to buy drugs from the resident, but instead tried to rob him of the drugs, according to the sheriff’s office.
Manjarres distracted the resident while Moultrie and Roberts entered the home, the release stated. The resident, who is not identified in the charging affidavit, confronted Roberts. Roberts shot the resident twice and the resident returned fired 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 one shot at the house with his own gun as he ran toward the street.
Manjarres then ran out of the house and down the street, the charging affidavit stated.
Moultrie and Manjarres have pre-trial hearings set for Sept. 14 in the murder case.
Roberts was sentenced in 2016 to seven years in prison for shooting and critically injuring a former high school football star named Phillip Haire Jr. in 2015 in the L-section in 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 from prison on Sept. 20, 2021, on probation, three months before he would die in the shootout. At the time that he was released from prison, he listed a Georgia address.
Remote control dispute
Moultrie is also facing a felony charge of battery by a person detained in a prison or jail facility. Moultrie is accused of trying to snatch the TV remote control from another inmate, Oleg Steven Walker, in the Flagler County jail on May 29, an affidavit stated. When Moultrie failed to take the remote control from Walker, he snatched Walker's eyeglasses off his face, in the process, scratching Walker above his right eye, a charging affidavit stated.
Walker subsequently placed the remote on table in the day room area and Moultrie returned the glasses and took the remote control, the affidavit stated.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Palm Coast man convicted of rape of teen, still faces murder charge