Attorney General Josh Stein Statement on Fayetteville Sexual Assault Arrest

For Immediate Release:
Monday, November 16, 2020

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today released the following statement about the arrest Fayetteville Police Department made in a violent 1992 sexual assault case:

“Today’s arrest does not happen without the power of DNA. I am proud of the role my scientists at the State Crime Lab played in today’s news. Since 1992, the Crime Lab has been working this case – getting just a little closer to a lead with each scientific advance. Today, we have results and a suspect in custody, which means an important step toward justice for the victim and a safer community for Fayetteville.

“As today’s news illustrates, DNA can breathe new life into cold cases. A 2016 audit showed that there are roughly 15,000 untested kits in local law enforcement custody. We are making progress, but we have to continue to test these kits. When we do, we can reopen cases, conduct investigations, make arrests, and make communities safer.

“When we test kits, we put criminals behind bars. That sends a message to our communities: we will do what it takes to keep you safe. It sends a message to the victims: what happened to you matters and we will never stop fighting to get you justice. And we send a message to any would-be rapists: no matter how long ago you committed your crime, we are coming for you and we will never give up.”

Attorney General Stein also congratulated Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins, Lt. Michael Petti, and former Fayetteville Police Lt. John Somerindyke and recognized employees at the State Crime Lab for all their work on this case.


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