Ohio inmate charged with rapes days before scheduled release

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 14, 2014 6:11 PM

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - An Ohio inmate due for release in days has been charged with raping five women in the mid 1990s based on tests performed on a backlog of thousands of rape evidence kits submitted by law enforcement, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Dwayne Wilson, 54, who is serving a five-year sentence on a separate sexual assault, was indicted last week on charges that he raped and kidnapped five women from 1994 to 1997, the Ohio Attorney General's Office said in a statement.

Wilson was scheduled to be released from custody on Friday after serving more than 4 years.

"Had these kits not been tested, this defendant would have been released from prison and given the opportunity to attack again," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.

Law enforcement around Ohio have submitted nearly 9,000 rape kits for testing under a program set up by the state attorney general's office. More than 5,000 of the kits have been tested, resulting in about 1,900 DNA matches in a national database.

Wilson was indicted in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland.

"We have learned that serial offenders like Wilson simply will not stop committing sexual assaults," Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Rick Bell said in a statement.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Editing by David Bailey and Sandra Maler)