VCC CONTRACTOR ARRESTED

By Theresa Carli
[email protected]

An online-dating rendezvous went very wrong when a 20-year old woman claimed she was attacked March 16 by a Valencia Community College contractor she met through chatting on Yahoo! Messenger.

The suspect in the attack is Marcelo Alves, 38, who was arrested the next day in the parking lot at Valencia’s West campus and is being held, without bail, on three counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count each of aggravated battery and kidnapping. Alves was employed by SunGard Higher Education, a firm out of Pennsylvania that does information technology work for colleges.

Valencia’s vice president of media relations, Christian Campagnuolo, confirmed that Alves worked at the college for two years, and most recently had a work space with a computer in room 234 of the Student Services Building.

He has since been banned from Valencia property. Alves reportedly worked on technical aspects of Valencia’s Web site. The suspect did confess to the crime, according to Orange County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Rich Mankewich. Alves is waiting for a lawyer to be assigned to him from the Public Defender’s office.

The Valencia Voice made two requests to interview Alves, but he denied both. Alves, a citizen of Brazil, is married with two children.

He has no criminal record, however, Mankewich told the Orlando Sentinel, “It would be a little strange for him, on the first time, to pull this off.”

Due to the planning of the attack, Mankewich said he would not be surprised if the suspect had tried to lure other women before.

The Sheriff ’s spokesperson, and supporting written reports, outlined the following details claimed by the alleged victim:

• After two weeks of online and telephone
communication, the attacker lured the woman
to a vacant, lake-front mansion that is still under
development in the Dr. Phillips area.

• The attacker led the woman to believe she
was meeting a young, blond-haired, blue-eyed
man named Mark Garcia at his home for dinner
at 9301 Kilgore Road.

Upon arrival at the house at 8:30 p.m.,the woman noticed a dark-colored sedan parked on one side of the driveway. She then drove to the rear of the house and parked between two garages as the attacker instructed her.

According to the Orange County Sheriff deputies’ report, the victim then exited her vehicle and was attacked from behind. The masked attacker allegedly tackled her to the ground, placed a large knife at her throat, and told her to shut up.

He then picked her up and walked her to the rear of her vehicle where she claims he sexually assaulted her.

Thirty minutes later, the assailant left, and the victim called her friend, crying. The victim’s friend had been on the phone with her earlier and heard her scream during the attack before the line went dead.

When her friend called back and received no answer, she proceeded to call the suspect’s number that the victim had given her. She called and asked for Mark Garcia, but the man who picked up the phone denied knowing anyone by that name.

After the attack, the alleged victim drove to her friend’s house in Polk County and called the police from South Baptist Hospital in Plant City, in Hillsborough County, around midnight.

Because the incident happened in unincorporated Orange County, the Plant City police instructed her to return to Orlando and call authorities there. She and her friend then drove back to Orlando, contacted the police, and met them at the McDonald’s on Sand Lake Road and International Drive where the victim’s
car was searched by forensics technicians.