Riviera man gets 25 years in rape case where he called 911 on himself

Joel Jones

Joel Jones

When Joel Jones raped a woman in August 2014 after she answered a Craigslist ad for a job with an office cleaning business, he called 9-1-1 on himself after he told her he did it to earn a trip to prison so he could get even with the person who had killed his 14-year-old son.

On Thursday, Circuit Judge Jack Cox made at least the prison part of Jones’ request come true, sentencing him to 25 years more than two months after a jury convicted him of armed sexual battery.

The sentence was less than the life in prison sentence that Assistant State Attorney Chrichet Mixon requested, but at 49 years old and with no possibility of credit for good behavior on the 25-year minimum mandatory sentence, Jones will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars.

“This case is not really about what someone did to your child, but what you did to someone else’s child,” Cox told Jones. “The things that you did to her was completely beyond the realm of what a human being should do to another human being.”

According to an arrest report, Jones first met the victim when she filled out an application to work for his cleaning business two weeks earlier. On the night of the attack he lured her to a doctor’s office in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens for a cleaning job, showed her the rooms she was supposed to clean, then raped her at knifepoint in one of the rooms.

Jones would later say that his attack was prompted by the shooting death of his 14-year-old son, and that he raped the woman because “this is how he would get to the people who killed his son,” according to an arrest report.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Jones was convicted for sexual battery and burglary in 1991 and served more than two years of a six-year sentence. He is not listed in Florida’s sexual offenders database because the Florida Sexual Predator Act does not include those convicted of sex-related crime before Oct. 1, 1993.

He also served almost eight years in prison for second-degree murder, though his sentence was 12 years, according to department of corrections records.