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25 Years after Sexual Battery, Pinellas Deputies Make Arrest

Jeffrey W. Hogston | PInellas County Sheriff | Arrests

New technology allowed deputies to identify the suspect.

PINELLAS COUNTY – New technology allowed deputies to solve a 25-year-old case and make an arrest, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Jeffrey W. Hogston, 49, of Palm Harbor, was charged with one count of sexual battery.

Deputies said the woman victim was at the JD Penguin Lounge, 23399 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater on Feb. 7, 1992. While there, she met a man who called himself “Tony.” Once the lounge closed, Tony told her he was from out of town and he asked her for a ride to the Days Inn where he claimed he was staying.

While driving, Tony asked her to turn into the Quality Inn at 38724 U.S. 19 N and drive around to the rear of the hotel. Once parked, deputies said, the man hit her and forced her into the backseat, where he sexually battered her multiple times. Afterwards, he ordered her to drive him to the intersection of U.S. 19 N and Beckett Way in Tarpon Springs where he got out of the vehicle and left on foot. The woman called and reported the incident to deputies.

During the investigation in 1992, deputies found a business card the woman had given to the man when she first met him inside the lounge. The business card was found in the back seat of the woman’s vehicle, where the sexual battery occurred.

Latent fingerprints were recovered from the exterior of the victim’s vehicle and from the business card. The latent prints were examined utilizing an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), but the latent fingerprints were unidentifiable. The case remained inactive for several years.

In April 2016, the sheriff’s office upgraded its AFIS system with new Morphotrak biometric software. The new software provided improvements in both fingerprint matching algorithms and system architecture, significantly improving the accuracy and efficiency of the AFIS system.

In July 2016, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office latent print examiners used the new AFIS biometric software to processes the same latent fingerprint evidence that was collected in the 1992 sexual battery cold case. Deputies said the new technology identified one suspect. Latent print examiners identified the fingerprints from the crime scene as those of Hogston. As a result of the new developments in the case, deputies were able to obtain a Pinellas County warrant for Hogston’s arrest.

Hogston was arrested at about 8:25 p.m. Friday (Feb. 17) and taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

Bill Schade , AFIS division biometrics records manager, said that the Sheriff’s Office was averaging about 150 latent fingerprint comparison hits a month with the existing AFIS system. Since the upgrade to the new Morphotrak biometric software, the Sheriff’s Office’s AFIS system is now averaging more than 230 latent fingerprint comparison hits a month.

For information about the Pinellas sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.

Pinellas Sheriff | Fingerprints | Crime | Arrests | Pinellas Arrests | Cold Case | TB Reporter

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25 Years after Sexual Battery, Pinellas Deputies Make Arrest
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25 Years after Sexual Battery, Pinellas Deputies Make Arrest
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New technology allowed deputies to identify the suspect.
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TB Reporter
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