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DNA Evidence Leads Police to Arrest Suspect In Two Sexual Assaults

Detectives arrested a 31-year-old man Wednesday after new DNA evidence linked him to two sexual assaults, committed in 2014 and 2015.

In the first case, in April of 2014, a woman reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a man in a stairway near the University Street Metro tunnel. Detectives investigated the case but were unable to identify a suspect at the time.

Then in May of 2015, a woman contacted police and reported she was sexually assaulted by a man she had met while walking downtown. Again, detectives investigated the case but were unable to identify a suspect. In both cases, police obtained DNA evidence, which was sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab. Two years later, in 2017, police received notification from the crime lab that the DNA in both cases matched the same, then-unidentified suspect.

That changed in December 2019, when the suspect in the two cases was convicted of a felony crime in Pierce County, leading authorities to obtain a sample of his DNA and enter it into a national database. The crime lab was then able to link the man’s DNA to the two unsolved sexual assault cases, and notified Seattle police in December 2019.

On Wednesday, February 5th, Detective Hatzenbuehler and Officer Brendan Sullivan arrested the suspect and booked him into King County Jail for two counts of investigation of rape.

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