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   Determined not to let the statute of limitations keep them from prosecuting a serial rapist, St. Clair County authorities have charged a suspect identified only by his DNA profile with a 2005 assault in East St. Louis.  

   The profile is linked to four other sexual assault cases between 1997 and 2008.  

   Prosecutors say they to the action in order to file charges before the 10 year statute of limitations runs out.

    Illinois State Police Lt. Dave Wasmuth says he believes the serial rapist will eventually be arrested. "We're just waiting for his DNA to be taken, submitted to the DNA index, and a match will occur, Lt. Wasmuth said.  "And then the warrant would be amended and actually put that person's name on the warrant."

   St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly says the victim, who no longer lives in the St. Louis area, is "happy" that authorities are pursing a conviction so aggressively.

  This is the first time St. Clair County prosecutors have filed charges against a suspect identified only by a DNA profile, but similar legal actions have been taken elsewhere in Illinois.  

   Bail for the unnamed suspect has already been set at $750,000.

 
Published in Local News
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — James Frost is already serving 40 years in prison for four St. Louis-area rapes. Now, he is getting more prison time for a fifth.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that all the crimes occurred in 2006 in St. Louis city and county. The fifth case was brought by prosecutors in September on the basis of further DNA testing. Prosecutors say Frost assaulted the victim at gunpoint.

As part of a plea deal, Frost on Monday was sentenced to 30 years plus 10 on charges of forced rape, forced sodomy and sexual abuse. The latest sentence will run concurrently with the time already being served on the other attacks.
Published in Local News
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Two members of the high school football team that is the pride of Steubenville were found guilty Sunday of raping a drunken 16-year-old girl in a case that bitterly divided the Rust Belt city and led to accusations of a cover-up to protect the community's athletes.

Steubenville High School students Trent Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond were sentence to at least a year in juvenile jail, capping a case that came to light via a barrage of morning-after text messages, social media posts and online photos and video. Mays was sentenced to an additional year in jail on a charge of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, to be served after his rape sentence is completed.

The two teens broke down in tears after the verdict was read and later apologized to the victim and to the community. Both were emotional as they spoke, and Richmond struggled at times to talk through his sobs. Richmond's father, Nathaniel, also asked that the victim's family "forgive Malik and Trent for the pain they put you through."

Mays, 17, and Richmond, 16, were charged with digitally penetrating the West Virginia girl, first in the back seat of a moving car after an alcohol-fueled party on Aug. 11, and then in the basement of a house.

The case roiled the community amid allegations that more students should have been charged and led to questions about the influence of the local football team, a source of a pride in a community of 18,000 that suffered massive job losses with the collapse of the steel industry. Their arms linked, protesters who sought guilty verdicts stood outside the courthouse Sunday morning, some wearing masks. The trial opened last week as a contest between prosecutors determined to show the girl was so drunk she couldn't have been a willing participant that night, and defense attorneys soliciting testimony from witnesses that would indicate that the girl, though drunk, knew what she was doing. The teenage girl testified Saturday that she could not recall what happened the night of the attack but remembered waking up naked in a strange house after drinking at a party. The girl said she recalled drinking, leaving the party holding hands with Mays and throwing up later. When she woke up, she said she discovered her phone, earrings, shoes, and underwear were missing, she testified. "It was really scary," she said. "I honestly did not know what to think because I could not remember anything." The girl said she believed she was assaulted when she later read text messages among friends and saw a photo of herself taken that night, along with a video that made fun of her and the alleged attack. She said she suspected she had been drugged because she couldn't explain being as intoxicated as defense witnesses have said she was. "They treated her like a toy," said special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter. Evidence introduced at the trial included graphic text messages sent by numerous students after the night of the party, including by the accuser, containing provocative descriptions of sex acts and obscene language. Lawyers noted during the trial how texts have seemed to replace talking on the phone for contemporary teens. A computer forensic expert called by the state documented tens of thousands of texts found on 17 phones seized during the investigation. In sentencing the boys, Judge Thomas Lipps urged everyone who had witnessed what happened in the case, including parents, "to have discussions about how you talk to your friends, how you record things on the social media so prevalent today and how you conduct yourself when drinking is put upon you by your friends." The girl herself recalled being in a car later with Mays and Richmond and asking them what happened. "They kept telling me I was a hassle and they took care of me," she testified. "I thought I could trust him (Mays) until I saw the pictures and video." In questioning her account, defense attorneys went after her character and credibility. Two former friends of the girl testified that the accuser had a history of drinking heavily and was known to lie. "The reality is, she drank, she has a reputation for telling lies," said lawyer Walter Madison, representing Richmond. The two girls testified they were angry at the accuser because she was drinking heavily at the party and rolling around on the floor. They said they tried unsuccessfully to get her to stop drinking. Nathaniel Richmond urged during the sentencing that parents speak to their children about "the dangers of alcohol and how it can lead to bad decisions that will affect the rest of your life." He said he himself was an alcoholic. The accuser said that she does not remember being photographed as she was carried by Mays and Ma'Lik Richmond, an image that stirred up outrage, first locally, then globally, as it spread online. Others have testified the photo was a joke and the girl was conscious when it was taken. The photograph led to allegations that three other boys, two of them members of Steubenville High's celebrated Big Red team, saw something happening that night and didn't try to stop it but instead recorded it. The three boys weren't charged, fueling months of online accusations of a cover-up to protect the team, which law enforcement authorities have vehemently denied. Instead, the teens were granted immunity to testify, and their accounts helped incriminate the defendants. They said the girl was so drunk she didn't seem to know what was happening to her and confirmed she was digitally penetrated in a car and later on a basement floor. Ohio's attorney general planned to announce later Sunday whether additional charges will be brought against others in the case. Mays and Richmond were determined to be delinquent, the juvenile equivalent of guilty, Lipps ruled in the juvenile court trial without a jury. The length of their sentence beyond the minimum one year will be determined by juvenile authorities; they can be held until they're 21. Lipps said that "as bad as things have been for all of the children involved in this case, they can all change their lives for the better." The Associated Press normally doesn't identify minors charged in juvenile court, but Mays and Richmond have been widely identified in news coverage, and their names have been used in open court. The AP also does not generally identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes.
Published in National News
STOCKTON, Mo. (AP) - A jury has found a 44-year-old southwest Missouri man guilty of attempted rape in a case involving twin sisters who lived as his wives at a ranch inhabited by Mormon fundamentalists.

The Springfield News-Leader reports Charles Laub was found guilty of one count Friday in Cedar County. The women say they were not legally married to Laub but had participated in a religious ceremony in Utah in 2001.

The women and their combined eight children fled their shared husband nearly two years ago. The 27-year-olds told authorities Laub had isolated them from family and friends and did not allow them to refuse sex.

Online court records indicate Laub was taken into custody after the trial and was being held on $25,000 bond. He is to be sentenced March 11.
Published in Local News
A St. Louis man is accused of breaking into a south city home, then kidnapping and raping a teenage girl.

Timothy Gilbert faces a dozen charges including kidnapping, sexual abuse, and rape. Police say Gilbert broke into the home in the 3900 block of Delor then took the 16-year-old girl at knife point. That is when Gilbert allegedly spit on the girl and raped her. Investigators say they found Gilbert's DNA on the victim's bra.

He is being held on a 75,000 dollar bond.
Published in Local News
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