Trial to begin for Man accused of raping a juvenile

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - Trial began Monday for a local man accused of raping a juvenile and several other men. 

Andrew Pace was arrested in May 2016 for his alleged crimes and getting this case to trial has been unusually complicated. 

66 year-old Andrew Pace is charged with four counts of sexual battery, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, false imprisonment and solicitation of a minor for sexual conduct.

This all comes after an incident back in 2016, when neighbors saw a naked juvenile acting hysterically outside Pace's home on Delwood Park boulevard in Panama City Beach. Officers say Pace gave the juvenile alcohol, tied him up to a bed, then assaulted him. After his arrest, other victims came forward with similar stories. 

Pace was originally released on bond on the first charge, but was rearrested in Tallahassee where he claimed to be on a business trip. Just a month after his arrest, Pace asked Judge Michael Overstreet for a court-appointed attorney, claiming he couldn't afford to hire one.

The judge and prosecutors didn't believe Pace and ordered him to hire a lawyer. 

"It doesn't matter, all you need to do is decide whether or not you want me to recuse myself," said Overstreet to Pace. 

"I do want to take you up on that offer," said Pace, accepting his recusal. 

Due to a technicality Judge Overstreet later recusing himself from the case. Pace is now represented by defense attorney Stan Peacock. After more than two years, his case goes to trial. A jury was selected Monday morning for the trial. 
Testimony is set to begin Tuesday at 8:30 am in front of circuit Judge Brantley Clark. 

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