The Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced the arrest of 37-year-old Thomas Lee Simmons of Winter Haven for Armed Sexual Battery (FL), Armed Robbery (FL), Grand Theft (F3), Dealing in Stolen Property (F2), False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer (M1).
The victim called 911 from the Stay Plus Inn in Haines City. He told detectives he had been communicating with an unknown man, who turned out to be Simmons, on a dating website and had arranged to meet Simmons at the hotel. The meeting did not go as planned.
According to the affidavit, the victim told detectives, “the suspect came into the room, he pulled out a fixed blade knife with a brown handle from a sheath attached to his belt and told the victim to strip naked and lay on the bed. The suspect told the victim that he was with the narcotics unit and he had other officers outside the room. During the encounter the suspect also pretended to talk on a radio to other individuals.”
Simmons then took off his own clothes and sexually battered the victim. After the armed sexual battery, the suspect told the victim that he had “agents” going to the victim’s sister’s house and they were going to “get her as well.” The suspect then robbed the victim of his driver’s license, passport, an iPhone, an Apple Watch, Airpods, and three pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes.
Through investigative means, detectives located Simmons at his girlfriend’s home in Winter Haven. During a search of the home, detectives found the victim’s stolen items, as well as a knife matching the description given by the victim on the front seat of Simmons’s truck. During an interview, Simmons originally gave detectives a false name. He later gave detectives his true identity.
Simmons admitted to meeting someone for sex earlier at the Stay Plus Inn in Haines City. He also admitted to taking the victim’s belongings without permission.
Simmons was charged with Armed Sexual Battery (FL), Armed Robbery (FL), Grand Theft (F3), Dealing in Stolen Property (F2), False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer (M1), and an Orange Warrant for FTA. He remains in the Polk County Jail on no bond until a first appearance hearing this afternoon. Simmons’s criminal history includes Florida charges of Petit Theft and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and a North Carolina Assault charge.