Mobile man accused of strangling, sexually assaulting woman with autism in Pensacola

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — A Mobile man is accused of sexually assaulting a woman with autism while they were visiting Pensacola.

Devon Christopher Burdett, 29, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of battery after a woman told deputies she was abused by Burdett. 

The woman told a witness that Burdett sexually abused her several times while she was visiting Pensacola with Burdette and a 28-year-woman on June 25, 2022.

All three went out for drinks at Seville Quarter, and the 28-year-old went to bed early. Burdett and the victim went to the beach where he ripped her clothes off, strangled her and sexually assaulted her, according to the arrest report.

The 28-year-old told deputies she expected Burdett to come to bed with her, but he never did. Deputies said she described Burdett as a “talkative drunk” and thought he was still talking to the victim. While she went back to sleep, the report says, Burdette sexually assaulted the victim three more times.

The victim told deputies she was scared that Burdette would hurt her again, so she stayed quiet while he abused her. She also said this was not the first time Burdette sexually assaulted her.

The victim said Burdette sexually assaulted her on her birthday back in 2021, according to witness testimony. She filed a police report with the University of Alabama but didn’t tell police it was Burdette. She was trying to protect someone, according to the report.

A witness also said that the victim was diagnosed with autism. Autism is a developmental disorder that ranges in severity. The disorder affects makes it hard to verbally communicate and recognize social cues, making them more likely to be targets of sexual assault.

Burdett was released from the Escambia County Jail on a $55,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear before a judge on July 29, 2022.

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