As a juvenile, Albert Duran racked up an eye-opening 13 arrests, almost all of them on burglary or robbery charges.
Duran did no jail time — instead, he was sent to a residential program for high-risk juvenile offenders, where he eventually got out on a “conditional release.” But police say Duran did not stay out of trouble.
Now, a DNA match has tied the 17-year-old to a December break-in and savage rape of an 80-year-old woman in North Miami Beach, police say.
Detectives this month arrested Duran for a 14th time. The charges: sexual battery, burglary with assault, and lewd and lascivious acts on the elderly. The allegations are disturbing and vicious. North Miami Beach detectives believe that in December, the teen broke into the woman’s home on North Glades Drive, demanding money. When she protested that she had none, Duran masturbated on her, according to an arrest report.
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The next day, Duran broke in again, this time climbing on top of her and raping her in her bed, police say. “You’ll never see me again,” he told the woman before escaping, according to police.
“He’s a very dangerous individual, somebody the community needs to be aware of,” said North Miami Beach Capt. Rich Rand, who oversees criminal investigations. “His behavior clearly escalated.”
Miami-Dade prosecutors, in the coming days, will likely formally charge Duran as an adult in the rape case. He is already in jail awaiting trial, as an adult, on an unrelated burglary accusation.
Police say he broke into another woman’s home 20 days after the rape, on the same block. And while he was under house arrest awaiting trial for the last break-in, police say he robbed a street rival at gunpoint and pummeled him in the eye.
Duran has pleaded not guilty. His mother, Tania Lora, insists Duran is innocent of the latest allegations.
“I asked him directly, and he said he didn’t touch whoever they say he touched,” Lora told the Miami Herald. “They have it all wrong.”
Duran goes by the street name “L’il Ivan,” has his mother’s name tattooed on his forearm and lives with her in an apartment on North Glades Road.
He notched his first criminal charges at age 13 — for burglary and criminal mischief, according to state records. More details on how Duran’s court cases in the juvenile system unfolded are unavailable. By law, juvenile court cases are shielded from the public — although Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that many of the charges were “dropped” or “abandoned.”
In March 2012, North Miami Beach police arrested Duran and another teen on charges of breaking into a home. North Miami Beach police issued a press release calling the former North Miami Middle student the city’s “most active burglar.”
At the time, the police department said it had tried unsuccessfully to charge Duran as an adult. One year later, authorities charged Duran yet again, with burglary and grand theft auto. Duran then spent one year in the residential juvenile program. “It helped,” Duran’s mother said.
By December, Duran was on “conditional release” — a sort of monitored parole — from the juvenile-offender program. North Miami Beach police say that Duran raped the elderly woman shortly after his release on Dec. 11. A few weeks later on New Year’s Eve, police say Duran struck again in another woman’s nearby apartment on North Glades Road. According to an arrest report, Duran broke in, then tried to drag her into her bedroom. The woman broke free and ran out of the front door. Duran escaped but was later picked out of a photo lineup by the victim, police said.
In February, prosecutors formally charged Duran as an adult for the New Year’s Eve attack. He was allowed out of a Miami-Dade adult jail on $10,000 bond and house arrest — with permission only to leave home to attend school.
But within weeks, North Miami Beach police arrested him again. This time, cops say Duran punched a man in the eye, then robbed him of his money and cellphone at gun point. Duran told police that the man — a one-time friend — had earlier sent goons to steal his “illegal drugs,” according to an arrest report.
Two months later, Miami-Dade’s crime lab matched Duran’s DNA to the attack on the elderly woman.