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Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 | 2:41 a.m.

Updated: 6:26 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, 2006 | Posted: 6:25 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, 2006

Man Remains Free Despite At Least 13 Arrests, 23 Charges


Rayon Payne


At least 13 arrests for 23 crimes from fraud to kidnapping to rape, but police and prosecutors said they can't get the man off the streets. After more than a dozen attempts, prosecutors finally sent Rayon Payne to prison, but a judge's oversight got that conviction thrown out of court.

In some cases, it's a technicality. In others, it's weak evidence. Officers from five Central Florida law enforcement agencies have arrested Payne, some more than once. They say it is absolutely frustrating that he's still on the streets.

Payne has enough mug shots to make his own pack of trading cards and he would be able to buy them, because he's a free man.

"He has served some time, probably not nearly enough. He has escaped the system," said Randy Means, State Attorney's Office.

Time and time and time again he escapes the system. Channel 9 uncovered at least 13 arrests on 23 charges, but very few convictions. In 1999, Orlando police arrested Payne for organized fraud and using stolen or counterfeit credit cards to buy equipment for his pirate radio station. In 2000, he pled no contest and was sentenced to five years probation. During that time, he was arrested for sexual battery, a violation that finally landed him in prison.

Email News Sign-Up Multiple Choices - Auto sign-up (LEFT ALIGN) GET WFTV NEWS HEADLINES BY EMAIL 9 a.m. Headlines Noon Headlines 4 p.m. Headlines News of the Strange Breaking News Alerts But Payne's lucky streak kicked in again. He appealed the sentence, saying when he entered his plea, Judge Bob Wattles never told him he could be deported to his home country of Guyana. An appellate court threw out the conviction and the sentence.

"Where does that stop? Do we have to tell the defendant they may lose their wife, they may lose their job? He should have served the five years," Means said.

The feds tried to deport him anyway, but then couldn't because there was no conviction. A sexual battery conviction was also overturned on appeal. The victim refused to participate in a second trial. The detective who investigated Payne’s original fraud case said officers won't give up.

"Mr. Payne has had a tremendous amount of luck and he's a smart individual, but if he continues on his path in the criminal justice system, eventually his luck will run out," said Detective Bill Moore, Orlando Police Department.

Channel 9 spoke with Payne by phone, but he refused to do an on-camera interview.

Judge Wattles, who took the plea that got thrown out, did not return calls.

Payne is still involved in one court battle with police. He's trying to get back the possessions seized in the fraud case, including a gun, radio equipment and the fraudulent credit cards and paperwork.

Orlando police are fighting to keep that from happening.

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