Defendant Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison in Special Victims Unit Case

Today Shawn Michael Strickler was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by 10 years of sex offender probation, for two cases involving the charge of Sexual
Battery When Victim is Physically Incapacitated, one case involving Possession of Controlled Substances and another related to resisting arrest. He was also designated a Sexual Predator.

Assistant State Attorney Francine Donnorummo, Special Victims Unit Chief, and Assistant State Attorney Erin Hughes, of the Special Victims Unit, prosecuted the cases.

This investigation started on March 21, 2021, when the Cape Coral Police Department responded to a call from a victim, who reported that they had been sexually battered. The victim stated that they and their friend, who they knew as “Franklin,” had earlier gone out to a bar in Lee County, to have drinks after work. They met at the victim’s house and the victim drove. Upon arriving home, the defendant offered the victim a Xanax which the victim put in their mouth but then spit out. They then watched television on the couch and the victim passed out.

The victim woke up around 5 a.m., as they were being sexually battered by their friend, later identified as the defendant. The victim demanded the defendant leave and then called police. Mr. Strickler, who was a bartender, had befriended the victim two years prior, at the bar where he worked.

Detectives with the Cape Coral Police Department located the defendant at his home in Fort Myers. He admitted to sexual activity but claimed it was consensual and said he may have been under the influence of drugs. As the investigation was underway, Mr. Strickler sent police videos he took of the victim in the bar, crowded with other patrons, where he worked.

The results of a sexual assault kit and analysis, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, showed Strickler’s DNA on the victim. The defendant was arrested in New Orleans.

During the investigation, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit discovered a second victim after a search warrant was issued for the defendant’s iCloud account. There was a sequence of five videos and two pictures from June 3, 2021, most showing unresponsive victims, being sexually battered by the defendant.

The second victim was located and had little memory of that evening but did remember drinking water at a bar and saw his friend “Franklin,” who was later identified as the defendant. They got into “Franklin’s” car and took a short trip but then the victim passed out. He woke up the next day in his vehicle and felt like he had been drugged. His friend “Franklin” told him he dropped him off there because he was “faded.” The victim was shown images of himself from evidence and confirmed his identity. He did not consent to the abuse.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office