DNA evidence from rape kit convicts 2 men in County Durham

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A forensic scientist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York demonstrates how to analyze a rape kit in this file photo.  The Durham County Prosecutor's Office announced two rape convictions on Monday, August 1, 2022, through the Durham Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

A forensic scientist with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in New York demonstrates how to analyze a rape kit in this file photo. The Durham County Prosecutor’s Office announced two rape convictions on Monday, August 1, 2022, through the Durham Sexual Assault Kit Initiative.

NYT

Two Durham men have been convicted of rape in unrelated cases, including one that occurred 17 years ago and the victim died this year before she could see her attacker convicted.

The Durham County District Attorney’s Office announced the rape convictions on Monday. They arose as a result of previously untested DNA evidence from Durham’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, according to a press release.

In one case, Timothy Rorie, 59, pleaded guilty to second-degree rape, first-degree burglary, first-degree kidnapping and sexual assault for breaking into a woman’s home on September 8 2005 and sexually assaulted her, according to the release. He was charged in February after saliva taken from the victim’s body linked him to the crime, the statement said.

Although the victim lived long enough to see her rapist arrested, the statement read: “Sadly, the victim in this case died shortly after Rorie was charged.”

On Monday, Rorie was sentenced to around 12½ to 16 years in prison, followed by 10 years of satellite surveillance. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and never have contact with the victim’s family.

In a separate case, Carlos Dominguez-Aguiar, 27, pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and first-degree burglary for breaking into a woman’s home on May 31, 2015 and sexually assaulting her under the threat of a knife, the statement said. He was charged in August 2021 when DNA tests linked him to the crime.

On Monday, he was sentenced to between 16 and 24 years and 3 months in prison, followed by 10 years of satellite surveillance. He was ordered to register as a sex offender and never have contact with the victim.

Eliminate the backlog of rape kits

More than a dozen people have been charged by the Durham Police Department’s Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit. With Monday’s convictions, seven have been convicted of 10 assaults dating back to 2005.

In 2019, after state officials reported a backlog of 15,000 untested sexual assault kits in North Carolina, state Attorney General Josh Stein said Durham was second only to Asheville. for sending kits pending for testing, although more than 1,000 kits have not been tested, The News & Observer reported.

“I am heartened that after years of waiting, the survivors in these two cases were able to have their abusers identified and granted closure,” District Attorney Satana Deberry said in Monday’s news release.

The latest cases were prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Angela Garcia-Lamarca, who works with the police department’s Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit.

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This story was originally published August 1, 2022 8:57 p.m.

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