Akron man DNA linked to 2007 rape sentenced to 20 years in prison

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – A 40-year-old Akron man convicted of rape nearly 15 years ago has just been sentenced to two decades in prison.

The Summit County District Attorney’s Office said Gerry Simmons, of Callis Drive in Akron, was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty in early October to two counts of first degree rape.

According to investigators, the rape victim went to the hospital in 2007 to provide evidence in a sexual assault kit. At the time of kit collection, no suspects were identified.

The sexual assault kit was retested in 2015. The evidence gathered matches Simmons’ DNA, the prosecutor’s office said.

“I am proud of the survivor, who has shown extraordinary strength after almost 14 years of waiting,” said prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Simmons, who is currently already serving a prison sentence, will begin serving a 20-year prison sentence upon the expiration of the sentence of a previous criminal assault case.

The case was pursued with the help of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team at the Akron Police Department, a specialist unit that examines unsolved rape cases less than 20 years old where DNA was collected. without a suspicious match at the time.

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