Berks

Cold case solved: Man arrested in 2003 rape case

Cold case solved: Man arrested in...

DNA has solved a nearly 15-year-old rape case, according to Berks County District Attorney John Adams.

Maurice Johnson has been charged in the rape of a woman near the campus of Reading Area Community College in 2003 and, officials said, the arrest will bring long-overdue justice to the victim.

"The power of DNA evidence really is exemplified in this arrest," Adams said Monday.

A woman was riding her bike near RACC in October 2003 when Johnson knocked her off the bike, held her down and told her if she didn't stop screaming he would kill her, authorities said.

He then raped her, according to court documents.

DNA from the case was kept on file, but it would be years before authorities could match it, until Johnson allegedly struck again.

"October of 2015, Maurice Johnson was convicted of another offense," said Adams. "That offense was aggravated assault and criminal attempt rape."

This time, it was attempted rape near the City Park bandshell. As a result of the arrest, authorities were able to get Johnson's DNA and put it into a nationwide system. Eventually, they got a match to the case from 2003.

"We really have no evidence at this point that he is linked to other crimes. Clearly, he may be, but we do not have any evidence of that," Adams said.

People walking in City Park said they were relieved to hear Johnson is behind bars.

"I'm disgusted," said John Liprati, who works near the park. "I have girls at home. I have two daughters and it appalls me."

"I'm glad they got the guy. You know, hopefully he won't be able to do it to nobody else," said Reading resident Jerrell Jones.

Johnson is now serving time at SCI Mahanoy for the most recent case, and if he is convicted of the additional charges, he will have more time added to his sentence.


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