BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A 51-year-old man from Cocoa, Florida has been arrested after police say he held a woman captive in his home for nearly a week, repeatedly raping and beating her after he learned she had slept with a Black man.
Charles Tanner was taken into custody and charged with multiple felonies, including sexual battery, aggravated battery, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault, according to court documents.
Authorities say Tanner and the alleged victim knew each other for about five years. On June 3, she went to Tanner’s home because he offered to give her heroin and she was in withdrawal.
The woman, referred to as “A.H.” in the affidavit, said the two initially engaged in consensual sex, but Tanner became enraged when he found out she had been sleeping with a Black man, records show.
“‘This enraged the defendant when he learned that the male she had a relationship with was of African American descent. The defendant then kicked A.H. in the head,” the affidavit says. “Over the next several days the defendant would beat A.H. with a closed fist and berate her about being unfaithful during [redacted] with a ‘N****r.’ The defendant would then smoke methamphetamine, become enraged and then forcefully have sex with A.H. against her will or make her perform oral sex on him to the point of her vomiting into a bucket in the room. A.H. recalled the defendant stating that he like the fact she was vomiting and seemed to be aroused by her condition.”
Over the next five days, the victim said tanner held her against her will, smoked methamphetamine, beat and raped her “at least 10 times”, with the abuse becoming more and more sadistic and humiliating.
The victim told investigators that Tanner held a knife to her cheek and threatened to slash her face and kill her, beat her with an extension cord, and held a pillow over her face until she lost consciousness. On the fifth night, she said Tanner fell asleep on top of her but she was able to wriggle free and run to a neighbor’s home.
Deputies from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call from a home in the area, saying an unknown naked woman just woke them up pounding on their door seeking help.
The residents told investigators that the woman had “noticeable bruising all over her body and stated that she was raped and held against her will” by Tanner, the paperwork says. The victim also allegedly claimed that she had been “starved for five days” and requested food and water.
“Once deputies arrived they spoke with A.H. and noted she was still unclothed and covered in bruises. A.H. reported to deputies that she was held at 321 Pineda Street for the last 5 days by her [redacted] Mr. Charles Tanner, hereinafter referred to as ‘the defendant,’” the affidavit states. “A.H. reported to deputies that while she was being held captive by the defendant, he repeatedly strangled her, beat her with an electrical cord and sexually battered her.”
The victim was taken to Rockledge Regional Hospital for evaluation, her injuries included at least two broken ribs.
Tanner is being held at the Brevard County Jail without bond. He’s due back in front of a judge on July 26, records show.