CLEVELAND (AP) -- A grand jury has returned a rape indictment against an unknown individual based on DNA genetic evidence in two Cleveland attacks nearly 20 years ago.
The Cuyahoga County grand jury returned the six-count indictment last week on charges of raping and kidnapping a 13-year-old girl on April 21, 1993, and a 37-year-old woman on June 15, 1996. The older female has since died.
The indictment identifies the defendant in the attacks as "John Doe (hash)1, unknown male" followed by numerical sequences reflecting the attacker's DNA.
According to The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer (bit.ly/10K85Jj), the indictment stops the clock on the 20-year statute of limitations for prosecuting.
The county issued an arrest warrant against the man's DNA profile in case he's arrested and his DNA is collected.
In New York, prosecutors reviewed hundreds of rape cases and indicted suspects in 2003 based on DNA alone.
Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Brian McDonough said DNA technology allows the justice system to hold rapists accountable. "Twenty years later, some memories may fade, but DNA profiles do not," he said.
Cleveland police and prosecutors recently began re-investigating the cases after evidence collected from the victims was tested as part an initiative mounted by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The review yielded DNA linking both cases to an unidentified DNA profile.
Police agencies across Ohio have sent more than 2,300 previously untested rape kits as a part of the program.
Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com