PALM COAST — The mayor of Palm Coast, Milissa Holland, has accused her husband, a former sheriff’s deputy, of raping her on three occasions while she was unconscious.
Holland, 46, alleges that David O’Brien, her estranged husband, raped her on three occasions in 2013 while she was recovering from a knee injury, which required her to take Tramadol, an opioid pain medication.
The alleged rapes took place a year after their wedding.
Holland says she remembers being fully-clothed before going to bed and awaking undressed and “feeling strange” with a vague memory that she had been sexually assaulted. The mayor, who mixed wine with the opioid medication, says she was unconscious at the time of the alleged rape.
As a result of the events, the couple separated, but Holland chose not to press charges at the time since she relied on her husband’s healthcare to cover the medical bills of her adult daughter Tori, who suffers from an autoimmune disorder.
The couple separated in March of 2013 and Holland was elected Mayor of Palm Coast, 30 miles north of Daytona Beach, in November 2016.
O’Brien, 53, filed for divorce in April of this year. The date coincides with the four-year statute of limitations under which he could have been charged with rape.
O’Brien is seeking to keep a 2007 SAAB as part of the divorce settlement. He is also requesting that his wife cover his legal fees. Holland, meanwhile, is pursuing $5,000-a-month in alimony.
O’Brien, was employed by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office for over twenty years. He quit in 2013 after receiving a bad review. Holland, a former county commissioner, was unemployed at the time of the mayoral election.
After sustaining a knee injury in 2013, she was prescribed 50 mg of Tramadol for four days. She says she mixed wine with the medication during her treatment and awoke unclothed and with an unsettling feeling for three days afterwards. After confronting her husband, she alleges that he confessed to “taking advantage” of her while she was out cold.
Holland believes the assault lasted “for hours,” though she vaguely remembers her husband dragging her body to the edge of the bed and performing oral sex on her.
The couple shared a three-bedroom home in Palm Coast before O’Brien moved out in 2013.
A month after the alleged rape, O’Brien reportedly met with Jeff Stuart, a Flagler County Sheriff’s Office colleague, and confided that Holland had accused him of rape.
Following the encounter, the Sheriff’s office reported the incident to prosecutors, who asked Holland if she would like to press charges. At the time, she declined. In 2015, she was asked again after an email surfaced in which O’Brien allegedly admitted to the rape, stating, “I take full responsibility for all my actions and for raping (redacted) and causing her so much emotional and physical pain and abuse,” according to The Dayton News Journal.
O’Brien was also recorded on one occasion by his estranged wife who asked him “How do you live with yourself knowing that you raped your wife?” He responded, “I don’t, I don’t, I don’t live with myself. OK. I don’t at all.”
Since the alleged rape, Florida has extended the statute of limitations for reporting rape cases to six years, though the law is not retroactive.
O’Brien has not yet commented on the accusations.