Woman sexually assaulted after leaving casino told courtroom she’ll be ‘stronger than before’

After a woman left a bachelorette party at a Biloxi casino, a man followed her from the parking garage to her home and sexually assaulted her, District Attorney Joel Smith said in a press release.

On Thursday, Judge Christopher Schmidt sentenced Frederick Eugene Bliss of Louisiana to serve 25 years in prison without eligibility for early release or parole. The maximum sentence is 30 years.

Bliss was found guilty Sept. 20 on a charge of sexual battery.

A 911 caller reported an attempted rape on Oct. 16, Smith said in the release, and Biloxi police responded about 2:30 a.m. to Bay Cove Drive in Biloxi.

The female victim said after leaving the casino parking garage, a man followed her home and attacked as she was walking to her condominium. She told the jury she was forced between two cars in the parking lot, pulled to the ground, and sexually assaulted.

She did not know the man, but was able to identify him after investigators got video surveillance footage from the casino and other local businesses, said Assistant District Attorney Scott Lusk in the release.

The woman said she has been in therapy for the past two years because of the assault. She described how difficult the incident has been on her and her family, but that they would “come back stronger than before.”