Man arrested for 1985 New Orleans cold case rape

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New Orleans police have arrested a suspect in a 1985 rape.

Troy Williams, 42, was arrested in Texas and transferred to New Orleans Wednesday, where he was jailed on rape, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping and other charges, The Times-Picayune reports.

Police said they found Williams after the Louisiana State Police crime lab checked an evidence kit from the assault for DNA. The DNA found by the lab matched a sample from Williams.

Williams was 15 when the rape occurred, but will be tried as an adult.

For years, even in cases where DNA evidence was available, New Orleans police failed to process evidence kits related to rapes. That resulted in a backlog of hundreds of unresolved cases.

After Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas took office in 2010, the department began to prioritize processing untested evidence in unresolved cases, with assistance from the State Police crime lab and others. Serpas recently said the department has eliminated the backlog of untested evidence.

Police said Williams and another man assaulted a woman on the morning of Aug. 21, 1985. Authorities said one of the two men took $6 from the woman's purse, and she was forced into a nearby alley at gunpoint. There, she was forced to disrobe and was raped, police said. The woman couldn't scream for help because the gun was against her head during the attack, court documents state.

Afterward, the two men fled. The woman ran to her sister's residence and called the police. She then went to a hospital and underwent a rape examination.

This past Nov. 19, New Orleans detective Orlynthia Miller-White received a report from the Louisiana State Police crime lab that DNA from the rape matched a profile of Williams stored on the Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, an FBI-managed collection of DNA samples from people convicted of certain crimes.

Miller-White eventually located the victim, who said she didn't know Williams and had never consented to having sex with him.

On Jan. 17 Miller-White obtained a warrant to arrest Williams. Although police list addresses for him in Harvey and New Orleans, records show he was arrested in Harris County, Texas.

Besides aggravated rape, armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping, he was booked with a probation violation, and on warrants from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Gretna Police Department, the details of which weren't immediately available.

Williams remained in jail Friday. His bail has not been set.