Florida Man Suspected in ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ Attacks Convicted in 1983 Cold Case


Robert Koehler, 63, was found guilty by jurors in Miami-Dade County of sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary.

A Florida man suspected of being the serial “pillowcase rapist” in connection with a string of attacks four decades ago was convicted Wednesday in one of the incidents, according to the state attorney general.

Robert Koehler, 63, was found guilty by jurors in Miami-Dade County of sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary.

Koehler faces up to life in prison at sentencing March 17. He is also charged in six more attacks in neighboring Broward County.

Inside Edition Digital has reached out to the Broward County Court for information on his other charges and has not heard back.

Following his guilty verdict, Florida State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released a statement obtained by Inside Edition Digital saying, “Today’s jury verdict finding Robert Koehler guilty of sexual battery, kidnapping and burglary, finally closes the book on a terror that gripped the women of South Florida for far, far too long.

“With a DNA trail linking Koehler to at least 25 sexual batteries in Miami-Dade alone, the work of two generations of police officers and forensic scientists seems to have come to a just and final end. This community owes a debt of gratitude to the courage of our victim who had to look this man in the eye years after her own sexual assault and still had the strength to testify against him.  The hard work of prosecutor Laura Adams deserves particular acclaim for her efforts in making this day and this verdict finally arrive,” she added.

The Miami-Dade case which Koehler was found guilty of Wednesday focused on a single victim, a then-25-year-old woman who was attacked in December 1983, according to NBC News.

Authorities say the "pillowcase rapist" terrified his victims by breaking into their homes at night and then used a pillowcase or other fabric to cover his face and sometimes the face of his victims before assaulting them, tying them up and stealing items from their homes, CBS News reported.

Authorities said the case had gone cold until advancements in DNA testing led them to Koehler, according to NBC South Florida.

According to an arrest warrant obtained by NBC South Florida, investigators obtained a DNA sample from Koehler's relatives which 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 say they found a match.

During Koehler’s trial in Miami-Dade County, a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by the "pillowcase rapist" took the stand and described how she tried to get him out of her home, according to CBS News.

“Because I knew if I didn't get him out of the house, my husband had just left for work, I would have been there all night. So I just kept saying you got to leave, he carries a gun, he's on his way here, he just finished work at eight, he's going to kill you. He carries a gun, you gotta leave, you gotta leave, you gotta leave," she told the jury.

During the trial, CBS News said prosecutors described a brutal sexual assault inside the victim's home.

"The thrill," the prosecutor said. "The power that this man must have derived from assaulting an innocent woman. Home. Just out of the shower. Completely vulnerable."

During the trial, Koehler’s attorneys claimed he was kidnapped and tortured by a group of police officers who he said planted his DNA on the woman, according to reports.

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