Thursday, May 18, 2017
A black man is accused of luring an 8-year-old girl into his home and sexually battering her, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office
Sydney Allan Markland, 68, told deputies that the child was "wearing provocative clothing" during the July 2016 assault. The victim told authorities that she knew Markland in passing because they live in the same neighborhood, so when he appeared injured and asked her if she would help him carry some fried chicken into the house, she agreed, deputies said. Markland, who goes by the nickname "Dread," sexually battered the victim and told her not to tell anyone. The girl told a parent, who called law enforcement. DNA samples were collected from the victim's and after several months, they proved to be a match with Markland. Detectives wrote in their report that the girl told them Markland "told her not to tell anyone, kissed her on the cheek and read from the Bible" after the assault. Deputies said Markland told them that in his culture his actions are considered acceptable. He also said that the child's clothing and "actions" suggested consent, officials said. "She was wearing provocative clothing," Markland said during his confession, according to what detectives wrote in their report. "Her actions suggested that she was consenting to sexual contact." After his arrest Friday, Markland admitted to detectives that he sexually battered the girl after eating chicken wings and praying with her, detectives said.