DNA match could help put woman’s rapist behind bars nearly 19 years later

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Almost 19 years after a woman was raped in downtown St. Louis, there’s finally a DNA match that could put her rapist behind bars.

Back in 1995, just two days before Christmas, a woman told police she was raped at gunpoint on the 300 block of North 7th Street.

For years, it was an unsolved crime. But in November of 2013, the national DNA database received a new match.

The DNA of 38 year-old Terrence Lamont Walker matched DNA from a rape kit; a sexual assault that happened on December 23rd, 1995.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Jennifer Matthew says, “Given the fact that it is so old, this is something that we take very seriously, as we do any crime that occurs in the city. We just want citizens to know that no matter when the crime occurred, it’s very serious and we will pursue it.”

Matthew can’t say when or why Walker’s DNA was initially put into the national database, but last fall, court records show he was charged with assault, involving a highway worker in a construction zone.

As soon as St. Louis police learned about this match, investigators got to work, digging up and assembling all the evidence.  But they hit a major roadblock.  Matthew explains, “In 1995, the way that the law was back then, there was a three year statute of limitations on these sex crimes.”

Nearly 20 years later, Walker can’t be charged with rape.  However, robbery has no statute of limitations, so Walker has been charged with Robbery in the First Degree, because according to court documents, he “forcibly stole a wallet and its contents” from the victim.  If he’s convicted of this felony, Walker could face anywhere from ten years to life in prison.

Matthew says, “I believe we have enough evidence at this point to pursue the charge of robbery in the first degree, and to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Walker was charged on Monday, but the north St. Louis man is still on the loose.  If you have any information about him or where he might be, call St. Louis police.

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