DNA hits leads to indictment in 1983 rape case

Updated: Jul. 18, 2018 at 4:49 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Thirty-five years of after it happened, an indictment has been returned in a rape case.

Tom Wine, the Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney, said the testing of the rape kit led to a match with Henry Junie Crawford. According to Wine, the victim in the case is now 88 years old and is willing to come forward because she wants to see justice done.

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The Kentucky Online Offender Lookup website shows Crawford, 54, is currently serving a 50 year sentence at Green River Correctional Complex in Muhlenberg County on a 2010 Jefferson County conviction for rape, sodomy, burglary and robbery. The sentences are running consecutively for a total of 200 years.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ryane Conroy, who was the prosecutor in the conviction of Crawford, said she was contacted by the Louisville Metro Police Department's Special Victims Unit that a new lead had been generated by the recent testing of rape kits. Conroy said the offenses Crawford is now charged with happened on August 30, 1983 and she is pleased that an indictment on rape, wanton endangerment and assault charges was returned.

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Wine said the rape kit that returned the hit against Crawford was among many that had been sitting on shelves. Wine said that back in the 80s, if there was not a suspect the rape kit was not tested and was placed on a shelf. The advent of DNA testing in the 1990s, Wine said, greatly increased the odds that a person being prosecuted was the right person.

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