Deputies: Army staff sergeant charged in Pasco rape

LAND O’ LAKES – A 34-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant is charged with sexual battery in the rape of a 25-year-old woman, deputies said.

Louis A. Cortese Sr., of 18643 Gracie Lee St. in Spring Hill, was arrested Tuesday and remained in the Land O’ Lakes Jail today.

The woman told Pasco County sheriff’s investigators that she went out with Cortese on Aug. 21. They spent several hours at a west Pasco bar, an arrest report states, before Cortese drove the woman to an area behind the Lane-Glo Lanes North bowling alley, 6935 Ridge Road in Port Richey.

The woman told detectives Cortese got into the back seat with her, pulled out a gun and pointed it at her while placing her in a chokehold. Cortese raped the woman then demanded she rinse off to dispose of any evidence, the report states.

Investigators took a DNA sample from Cortese in November and found that it matched DNA found on the victim’s clothing, according to the report. The woman’s injuries also corroborated her account.

Cortese has been with the Army since 1994, said Ray Gall, spokesman for Army Human Resources Command in Kentucky. He is assigned to the Joint Command Support Element at MacDill Air Force Base, where he repairs power generation equipment.

Gall said soldiers charged with crimes generally remain on active status until their cases are decided in civilian courts.


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