Suspect Held In Rape Of Tourist

A man accused of robbing and raping tourists at area hotels was arrested Thursday after one victim identified him in a photo lineup.

Kenneth Taylor, 40, was arrested at his home on armed robbery, armed sexual battery and false imprisonment charges. He was being questioned at the Orange County Jail.

Amy Westerby of CBS affiliate WKMG in Orlando reports that tourists to the area aren't told about these crimes when they stop at local visitor centers.

"Unless tourists hear about it on the news or they hear it in passing, they're not going to get information like that at this tourist information center," Westerby reported on location from Kissimmee, Florida. "Folks here at the tourist information center tell me that they depend on hotel managers to spread the word, to let their guests know about the news that is happening."

Taylor was identified by one of two British tourists who were attacked Monday in their room at the La Suite Inn & Suites in Kissimmee in neighborhing Osceola County. They were forced to strip and perform sex acts on each other before the suspect ordered the man in a bathroom and raped the woman.

However, Taylor told investigators that he was working at a construction job in Georgia at the time of the attack.

"Right now, he's stating that he wasn't there and we're following up on his side of the story and trying to put all of the pieces together," said Det. Jeff Parsons of the Kissimmee Police Department.

Authorities in Orange County at first thought he may be have been a suspect in six hotel robberies, three involving sexual assaults, in their jurisdiction, but they later changed their minds.

"We believe their suspect is not our suspect," said Cmdr. Steve Jones, a spokesman for the Orange County sheriff's office.

The latest attack in Orange County happened Wednesday, when an Austrian couple was attacked at their Days Inn hotel near the Orlando International Airport.

They were robbed at gunpoint and the woman was raped, said Jim Solomons, a spokesman for the Orange County sheriff's office.

The first attack, in which Taylor is a suspect, was an early Saturday assault on a Massachusetts couple in their room at the Park Inn International on U.S. Highway 192 in Kissimmee, police said. They were robbed, and the woman was raped.

The two hotels where the attacks occurred are about three miles apart on the same tourist strip east of Walt Disney World. Saturday, the attacker asked for directions to the main lobby before forcing his way into a room. On Monday, the British tourists requested an iron from the front desk and left their door ajar, expecting a hotel worker.

The British couple were planning to finish out their two-week vacation in the Orlando area, said Cmdr. Pam Rousch, a spokeswoman for the Kissimmee police department. A victim's advocate was spending time with them.

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