Quick Investigative Work, Collaboration with DA, Leads to Rape Arrest

NEW ORLEANS – An indictment was secured on Thursday (Oct. 11) of a man linked by DNA testing results to the rape of woman in New Orleans’ Irish Channel neighborhood 22 years ago.

Roland Butler, 45, was charged with two counts of aggravated rape in connection with the sexual assault of a woman that occurred on April 5, 1996 around 4:30 a.m. in the 1100 block of Toledano Street.

The victim reported that when she arrived home an unknown assailant, identified as Butler, approached and demanded her purse and keys at gunpoint. Butler then sexually assaulted the victim against the side of his four-door gold colored sedan.

Butler ordered the woman into his car and drove her farther down Toledano Street before sexually assaulting her a second time. He then set the victim free farther down the

street and fled with her belongings.

Genetic material was collected and preserved in a sexual assault kit. In March 2017, the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab reported that DNA sample linked to a sample from Butler newly stored in the federal CODIS database.

NOPD sex crimes detective Kevin Richardson collected a buccal swab from Butler at an

Aug. 13 court appearance in an unrelated gun case. State police on Sept. 2 confirmed that sample matched the CODIS hit from the 1996 rape.

By then, Butler already had been freed after posting bond in the gun case. A new arrest warrant was obtained in the rape case and Butler was arrested on October 10. He was indicted less than 24 hours later.

NOPD would like to affirm and agree with statements made by Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro that this case is an excellent example of the great partnership between the District Attorney’s office and the NOPD.

After quick police action on confirming new evidence, prosecutors were ready to present the case quickly to the Grand Jury.

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