A former federal inmate and truck driver will stand trial next week in Franklin County for the decade-old kidnapping and sexual assault of an Ottawa teenager.
In 2010, Ralph E. Corey, 52, was identified as a suspected by DNA evidence in the February 2000 assault, in which a 16-year-old girl was kidnapped in the parking lot of the Ottawa Walmart after ending her work shift.
The case went cold until Corey’s DNA profile matched evidence collected from the crime scene and entered into the national DNA database. When the profile matched, Corey was serving time in a federal prison in Arizona on counterfeiting charges. Corey also spent time in a Virginia prison after he was caught smuggling 500 pounds of marijuana through Virginia in a semitrailer.
Under Virginia law, Corey’s DNA would have been entered in the DNA database following the drug smuggling conviction. However, it’s unclear why it took so long for the DNA to produce a hit, since Ottawa police say they submitted the evidence to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation in 2002.
According to court records, Corey’s court-appointed attorney, John Boyd, has been attempting to obtain gasoline card records from the trucking company — RAKAB Transportation Inc., based in Waterloo, Iowa — that Corey worked for in 2000. Such records could possibly show Corey was not in the Ottawa area when the crime occurred, but the defense was not able to produce such records at a preliminary hearing in November.
Boyd, Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting and Ottawa police have declined further comment on the case, citing the pending trial.
Corey’s charges include aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery and criminal threat.