DNA evidence leads to arrest in 2000 Raleigh rape case

Police detectives, using DNA information from the State Crime Lab, have charged a 40-year-old man with rape and another sex charge in connection with an attack on a woman in North Raleigh in 2000.

Maurice Barry Albert Sullivan of 6603 Terrace Park Court in Raleigh was arrested Thursday evening and charged with first-degree rape and first-degree forcible sexual offense.

Just before midnight on Oct. 1, 2000, two men attacked a 21-year-old woman who was walking home from work in the 7100 block of Ray Road, said police spokesman Jim Sughrue. They showed the woman a knife, dragged her into nearby trees and sexually assaulted her, Sughrue said.

The woman later called police and was taken to a hospital, where medical personnel collected a rape kit for evidence.

The case remained cold until this week, when a DNA database match connected Sullivan to the case, police said.

In December 2013, Knightdale police arrested Sullivan on two counts of larceny by defeating anti-theft devices on merchandise at a store, a felony. Under a law that took effect in 2003, the state collects DNA samples from all convicted felons, and Sullivan was convicted April 3.

It was the first time he had been convicted of a felony in the state and become eligible for mandatory DNA collection.

All DNA samples collected from felons and analyzed by the State Crime Lab are compared with samples in a national DNA database known as CODIS.

That database included the DNA evidence from the 2000 rape kit collected in Raleigh, even though it initially was not tested. In 2006, after Attorney General Roy Cooper pushed to have rape kits held by local law enforcement agencies screened and analyzed, the SBI looked at 6,200 untested rape kits and found 514 that had evidence that could yield DNA samples, according to the Department of Justice.

Those went to a private laboratory and by February 2007 were in the DNA database. The kit from the 2000 Raleigh case appears to have been one of those, Sughrue said.

Raleigh police continue to look for the second suspect in the attack, Sughrue said. Police did not disclose whether DNA evidence in the rape kit could lead them to him.

Police ask that people with information about the case contact Raleigh CrimeStoppers at 919-834-4357 or to find out how to report by text message and email.

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