Alleged ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Found Guilty in 1983 Case in Miami-Dade – NBC 6 South Florida

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A suspected serial rapist who police say terrorized South Florida for years in the early 1980s has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman nearly 40 years ago.

Jurors returned a guilty verdict Wednesday for Robert Koehler on charges including kidnapping, sexual battery and burglary with a deadly weapon.

Deliberations began earlier Wednesday after attorneys gave their closing statements. Hours later it was announced that the jury had reached a verdict.

Koehler now faces up to life in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for March 17.

The “pillowcase rapist” was so named because he used a pillowcase or other fabric to cover the faces of his victims, usually after he broke into an apartment or town home. The assaults were often committed at knifepoint, authorities said.

The trial that began last week involved only one case, the December 1983 rape of a then-25-year-old woman who was living on the ground floor of an apartment building near Miami International Airport.

Now 65 and retired, the woman detailed the most terrifying night of her life while sitting just a few yards away from Koehler, now 63, during her testimony.

Koehler later testified he was drugged, kidnapped, tortured and made to witness murders by crooked cops, who extracted semen from him and then planted it at rape scenes so they could justify asking for bigger police budgets.

Authorities said the case had gone cold until advancements in DNA testing led them to Koehler.

According to an arrest warrant, investigators obtained a DNA sample from Koehler’s son following an unrelated arrest. That sample was linked to one of the assaults, leading detectives to Brevard County where they followed Koehler to obtain DNA samples from objects he touched.

Koehler was eventually arrested in January 2020 after detectives found a match.


Miami-Dade Corrections

Robert Koehler

It turned out Koehler was convicted in a 1990 rape in Palm Beach County and sentenced to probation, which he later violated and served 120 days in jail.

But that case was never linked to the series of assaults in Miami and elsewhere in South Florida. Authorities said that was mainly because DNA samples were not yet mandatory.

Koehler could potentially be linked to dozens of cases in Miami-Dade, but prosecutors previously said it will take time to locate victims and determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute all of the cases.

More than two years after his arrest in the Miami-Dade case, the Broward Sheriff’s Office announced Koehler would be charged in at least six sexual assault cases in the county.

Alleged ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Found Guilty in 1983 Case in Miami-Dade – NBC 6 South Florida

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