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Archive for Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Charges grow in old rape cases

DNA advances identified suspect in 1990s attacks

August 8, 2007

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During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, a Kansas Bureau of Investigation expert testified that DNA evidence links a 38-year-old California man to two women who were raped in Lawrence in the 1990s.

The women's friends and family packed a Douglas County courtroom to hear testimony from the women, the KBI expert and a Lawrence police detective.

The Californian, who lived in Lawrence from 1992 to 1998, was extradited this summer to Lawrence to face charges after advances in DNA testing led authorities to him. When he was extradited, the man had been charged in connection with attacks on three women. But the statute of limitations on one of the cases had expired, according to District Attorney Charles Branson.

The man now faces three counts of rape and two counts of aggravated sodomy. During Tuesday's hearing, Prosecutor Amy McGowan asked for permission to file an additional count of aggravated sodomy and another count of rape. Judge Michael Malone said there was enough evidence for the additional counts to be allowed.

And even though the additional charges technically have not been filed yet, Malone ordered the defendant to stand trial on all seven counts.

During testimony, one woman, now 37, said she awoke from a nap to discover a man had broken into her home. He attacked and later raped her in a six-hour ordeal in summer 1994, she testified.

"He told me he knew my name : and said he knew where to find me," she said.

A second woman, now 32, was staying with friends in fall 1995 in Lawrence after a night out. She testified a man broke into the home and raped her.

"He tackled me to the floor and began to punch me," she said. "I finally decided that if I was going to live, I would have to endure whatever was coming."

The KBI's Sindey Schueler, who extracted DNA from clothing, a chair pad and swabs taken from the two women, testified that the man's DNA was found on evidence taken from both women.

The suspect did not testify.

The man initially faced a total of 12 charges of rape, aggravated burglary and criminal sodomy. In July, the man's attorney, James Rumsey, filed a motion to dismiss several of those. Two aggravated burglary charges were dropped because the charges were filed after the statute of limitations had expired. Rumsey had asked the judge to dismiss three other charges because he thought they duplicated previous charges, but the judge disagreed.

Malone postponed the suspect's arraignment until 10:30 a.m. Thursday to provide time for McGowan to officially file the additional charges.

The Journal-World generally does not name people accused of sex crimes unless there is a conviction.

Comments

louissypher 6 years, 8 months ago

I, as well as 4 friends shared an apartment with the suspect in 1993. Evidently while this was going on. I never liked the guy, and objected to having him in my house, but as many of you might know, the punk scene of the mid-ninties an apartment was was temporary and more of a place to sleep and toss a keg before the landlord evicted, so he was just one of a ever revolving "roommates". At the time he was dating a friend of mine (and abusing her sexually and physically) hence my problem with the guy.

I know there were more than these three. There were always rumours of date rapes involving this guy, and I certainly wasn't suprised that he was the rapist that women were afraid of those summers. Hope they lock him up forever.

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monkeywrench1969 6 years, 8 months ago

Half

How do you know that. It sounded like the police did hte right things that led to the bad guy getting caught after over a ten year lapse in time. Obvious they took it seriously to collect and perserve what evidence would catch the guy if they ever found him.

Give an example for the evil in what the cops did here.

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Centrist 6 years, 8 months ago

I hope they don't screw up this case. The man is obviously a dangerous person (assuming guilt).

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halfgreengirl 6 years, 8 months ago

What's worse is that they treat you like a suspect instead of a victim when you go the police station to report a sexual assault. No wonder so many women don't bother to press charges.

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hipper_than_hip 6 years, 8 months ago

Rape should be a capital offense.

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