Jayvon Woolfork Rejects Another Plea Deal in Hollywood Teen Gang-Rape Case
Jayvon Woolfork continues to insist he's innocent in the gang rape and beating of a Hollywood teen and has rejected yet another plea deal. The latest plea deal would have had Woolfork, age 20, serve ten years in prison, plus five years' probation, as opposed to the 20 years to life he's facing if convicted. Woolfork is facing capital felony sexual assault and kidnapping charges.
But during a hearing on Wednesday, Woolfork not only rejected the plea deal but asked for a trial without a jury, against his attorney's wishes.
A trial such as this — known as a "bench trial" — means a judge would be the jury as well. While a bench trial is rare for a case such as this, Woolfork said he wants to seriously consider going that route. A tentative trial date was set for July 20.
Meanwhile, Woolfork apologized to Broward Circuit Judge Lisa Porter for his outburst in court earlier this month. In a profanity-laced eruption during a hearing on June 4, Woolfork demanded to see evidence of his guilt.
"What evidence do you have?" Woolfork said when offered a plea deal. "Where's the evidence at? Where's the DNA? Where's the so-called video they have? What evidence do you have? Let me know."
This despite a taped confession from Woolfork when he was arrested in 2014.
When prosecutors brought up the victim in the case, Woolfork said, "Hold on now, she said she was raped. Where's the evidence showing that she was raped? Where's that evidence at?"
In May, the four other teens arrested for their involvement in the rape, Patricia Montes, 17, and Erica Avery, 17, Lanel Singleton, 19, and Dwight Henry, 18, each took plea deals and pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual battery and one count of kidnapping.
Avery and Montes were both sentenced to four years in prison. Singleton, meanwhile, was sentenced to four years in prison as a youthful offender plus two years of probation, while Henry was sentenced to two years in prison as a youthful offender, plus four years of probation and time served. They both also will have to register as sexual predators.
As part of their deals, Henry and Singleton agreed to testify against Woolfork.
Woolfork, prosecutors say, was the one who had sex with the victim.
In 2013, the four, who were all teens at the time, invited the victim to a house in Hollywood and eventually began demanding that she have sex with Woolfork, according to police reports.
When she refused, Montes and Avery attacked her and beat her. One of them smashed the girl's head against a concrete stoop and then threw her down a stairway. The victim had her clothes torn off and was dragged by her hair.
The victim reportedly begged the two girls to stop beating her, but the girls said they wouldn't stop until she agreed to have sex with Woolfork.
New Times chronicled the heinous crime in a feature story in March of last year. The attack was caught on a cell-phone video and uploaded to Facebook, where the victim was taunted by Montes, who wrote, "You're a hoe. Stop trynna act like a saint."
The New Times story detailed a moment when the girls said the victim (who was called Jessica to protect her real identity) wouldn't be set free until she had sex with Woolfork.
During the June 4 hearing, Woolfork told the judge that he would be "stupid" to take a plea deal since, he insists, there's no evidence proving he's guilty.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.