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Rapist's helicopter escape.

WEST PALM BEACH: A rapist escaped from a Florida treatment centre for sex offenders yesterday after a helicopter landed in the yard, picked him up and then crashed into an orange grove.

The pilot and the prisoner survived the crash and fled on foot, according to state corrections officials, who believed the pair to be armed.

Sheriff's deputies and guards from a nearby prison used dogs and helicopters to search the thickly-wooded area around the Martin Treatment Centre in Indiantown, 40 miles north-west of West Palm Beach.

The escaped prisoner, Steven Whitsett, 28, was convicted in 1994 of lewd and lascivious assault and sexual battery - Florida's legal term for rape, on a child under age 16.
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Title Annotation:Foreign News
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 6, 2000
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