This man invited a woman to crash on his boat. Now he’s off to prison for attacking her

Miguel Pestano
Miguel Pestano Monroe County Sheriff's Office

A Key West man faces up to 15 years in prison for sexual battery on a woman he invited to his boat earlier this year. During the assault, he told her to “stop playing the victim,” and be grateful he gave her a place to stay.

Miguel Pestano, 44, three times forced himself on the woman who needed a place to crash Jan. 6 and ended up on his boat on which he lived moored off Stock Island, a Monroe County jury decided on Dec. 5.

The victim this week told the jury about her ordeal, including what Pestano said during the attack.

Judge Mark Jones, who presided over the case, is scheduled to sentence Pestano on Jan. 11.

Pestano didn’t testify at trial but he told police different stories when he was arrested Feb. 12.

At first Pestano said he didn’t know what they were talking about. But then under questioning he said he had sex with the woman but only with her consent.

He also said he didn’t have to rape anyone because his girlfriend is “hot.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorneys Patrick Flanigan and Christine Poist.

In 2006, Pestano was sentenced to two years in prison for an aggravated assault with a weapon without the intent to kill.

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.