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Reynolds Metals heir convicted in Chesterfield rape, arrested in 1998 Florida attack

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ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – The Reynolds Metals heir who was convicted of a rape in Chesterfield in 1986 has been arrested in connection to another rape in Florida nearly 20 years ago.

Cornelius Francis Florman, 51, was arrested Tuesday afternoon by U.S. Marshals in Alleghany County, Virginia.

The 51-year-old has been charged with sexually battery and kidnapping in connection to a rape that occurred on June 22, 1998 in Fort Myers Beach. The 44-year-old victim told police a man asked her for a ride off the beach and raped her after knocking her unconscious.

In July, CBS 6 reported that the Lee County Sheriff's Office considered Florman a suspect in the case.

Cornelius Francis Florman

“They never would have found him if it wasn’t for that cold DNA hit,” said CBS 6 Legal analyst Todd Stone. “To rely on a victim to identify someone 20 years later is nearly impossible but to do it with DNA, it makes it a much stronger case.”

According to a "DNA match data response offender match" record from November of 2016, Florman's DNA matched the foreign DNA profile collected by a physical evidence recovery kit (PERK) from the woman that was raped in 1998.

Florman, who grew up in the West End, has been at the center of several cases in the Commonwealth.

He was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for raping a nurse inside her Bon Air home in 1986.

Florman was charged with raping a Henrico County woman back in 1986 in her neighborhood near the University of Richmond. A judge declared a mistrial in the case, and Florman was never found guilty of the crime, but in a civil trial the woman won and received 8.5 million dollars.

“His prior convictions come into play if he gets on the stand to testify, they can cross examine him about his prior convictions,” said Stone. “If he doesn’t get on the stand, chances are his prior convictions won’t come in the guilt phase but if he’s convicted they could in the sentencing phase.”