The St. Clair County state's attorney has charged a DNA profile in connection with rapes that happened in East St. Louis and St. Louis. This is the first ever St. Clair County prosecution initiated by charging a DNA profile of a defendant. And, by doing so, Brendan Kelly said there is no danger that the statute of limitations will run out.
"There may be a suspected serial rapist out there right now who thinks he can wait until the statute of limitations runs, but because of this charge of his DNA profile, time is no longer our enemy. Justice will find him sooner or later," Kelly said.
John Doe with an identified DNA profile was charged Thursday afternoon with one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of criminal sexual assault.
The aggravated criminal sexual assault charge carries a prison sentence of 16 to 40 years. The aggravated sexual assault charge carries a prison sentence of four to 15 years.
The alleged assault happened in East St. Louis on Feb. 13, 2005, Kelly said.
The victim in the case now lives out of state and has been notified of the charges, Kelly said.
The defendant is allegedly a suspect in four other assaults -- two in East St. Louis in 1997, one in East St. Louis in 2005 and one in St. Louis city in 2008.
Lt. Dave Wasmuth of the Illinois State Police said "We had this DNA profile of the suspect, but we didn't know what to do with it. We talked to the state's attorney and he researched the law and found out that it has been done in other jurisdictions in Illinois, specifically in the Chicago Metropolitan area."
Wasmuth said police don't know a name or birthdate of the suspect, "but we do know his DNA. When the DNA is reopened, hopefully it will lead us to a suspect."
He said generally the statute of limitations on sexual assaults has a 10-year window. "And after that, you are at a loss even if a confession is made," Wasmuth said.
Kelly praised what he called dedication and hard work "of the investigations unit of Illinois State Police Zone 6, especially Lt. Dave Wasmuth and the outstanding forensic work of the Illinois State Police Crime Lab."