DNA rape test results are day late

Time ran out in the first indictment from an Ohio effort to examine decades worth of previously untested sexual assault evidence kits.
Associated Press
Mar 18, 2013


The indictment returned by a grand jury came one day after the 20-year statute of limitations expired.

According to Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba, the state lab notified detectives in December that DNA in the rape kit from a 1993 case matched that of 60-year-old Charles Steele, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

His DNA profile was included in a statewide database because he is serving time on another rape case out of Cincinnati.

To read more about the DNA backlog, click here.

Tomba says police delays and an elusive victim living in Florida meant the case didn't result in an indictment until March 6, 20 years and one day after the attack.

The effort to review untested rape kits was mounted by Attorney General Mike DeWine. Since he launched the initiative in December 2011, the state crime lab has received more than 2,300 previously untested rape kits, nearly half from Cleveland.

The Plain Dealer said its analysis in February showed roughly a third of the kits sent to the lab could match a profile in state and national DNA databases, if trends from early testing held up.

According to Tomba, detectives submitted the rape kit for the Steele case to the state's Bureau of Criminal Investigation on July 20, 2011, and waited 17 months for the results. He said detectives learned that the victim used several different last names and appeared to be living in Florida.

Letters sent to her addresses generated no response, Tomba said. On Dec. 31, they presented the case to an assistant city prosecutor, who declared that there was not enough evidence to seek charges.

Two days later, a woman who identified herself as the victim left the detectives a voicemail message. But when detectives tried to call her back, the number was not in service, Tomba said.

Tomba said that although the Police Department is grateful for DeWine's initiative, detectives are under great pressure as the clock ticks on each case.

Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath said in February that he plans to add up to two more detectives to the Sex Crimes & Child Abuse unit to help with cases.



BloodBath McGrath wants two more SVU. Well, well.

Not Yer Pa

That's a sweet nickname!


I can't take the credit for it. It's from the movie, "Wild, Wild West" starring Will Smith.

I was just thinking how his police force shot the hell outta two people in that car.

BULLISDEEP's picture

They are so good at changing the laws that pertain to their own benefits.
It's time to change the statute of limitations laws.

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

17 months for the results? Some heads need to roll @ the BCI.


17 months is a long time, but how about the 18+ years that this sat around before being submitted? Are detectives that backlogged?


"According to Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba, the state lab notified detectives in December that DNA in the rape kit from a 1993 case matched that of 60-year-old Charles Steele."

The DNA evidence was tied to Charles Steele in December. The indictment should have commenced in December.

Super Judge

Typical of this adimim....