Florida Keys

Sexual predator who told a woman to ‘stop playing victim’ has been sentenced to 10 years

Miguel Pestano
Miguel Pestano Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Florida Keys judge sentenced a man to 10 years in prison for the sexual battery of a woman on his boat last year.

Miguel Pestano, 44, of Key West, was also ordered to serve two years of sex-offender probation and comply with electronic monitoring.

Judge Mark Jones on Jan. 11 also ordered he have no contact with the victim and designated him a “sexual predator” under state law, which will require Pestano to be on a registry with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

A jury convicted Pestano of sexual battery on Dec. 5 at the Monroe County Courthouse.

The Marathon victim encountered Pestano early on Jan. 6, 2018. She was walking near U.S. 1 and South Roosevelt Boulevard to Sunset Marina on Stock Island, where she used to live, and believed she could find a place to crash.

Pestano invited her to his boat.

During the assault, he told her to “stop playing the victim,” and be grateful he gave her a place to stay.

The next morning, they both got a ride back to shore and she was dropped at the Key Haven boat ramp. She reported the battery the next day.

Assistant State Attorneys Patrick Flanigan and Christine Poist handled the case.

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Gwen Filosa covers Key West and the Lower Florida Keys for FLKeysNews.com and the Miami Herald and lives in Key West. She was part of the staff at the New Orleans Times-Picayune that in 2005 won two Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. She graduated from Indiana University.


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