DNA helps solve 20-year-old rape case - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

DNA helps solve 20-year-old rape case

Allen Causey (Source: Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office) Allen Causey (Source: Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office)
Leighton Hills (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office) Leighton Hills (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

It was 1995 along S. Choctaw Dr. when Baton Rouge police said a woman was walking down the street and a car with two men inside repeatedly passed her, offering her a ride home. After saying "No" the first time, she finally accepted. But then, they passed up her house.

"She was told you don't get any ride for free. Then she felt some sharp object across her neck," said BRPD's Sgt. Don Coppola.

They then took her to some gravel road off of Mockingbird Lane. The suspects' arrest report said they allegedly took turns raping her, then tried choking her and left her for dead on the side of the road.

"The lady at one point in time had fought back until she blacked out waking up on a gravel road with her clothes off of her," said Sgt. Coppola.

She called BRPD, who took the evidence to the State Police Crime Lab.

Twenty years ago, there was no technology like DNA testing so the case went cold. Then in 2004, when DNA became available, state police started going back and re-testing old cases such as this one where evidence had been well preserved.

"It came up with two male profiles for DNA," said State Police Lt. J.B. Slaton, referring to this case.

But Lt. Slaton said that still presented some problems for their system called CODIS. 

"At that time, CODIS wasn't allowing that type of match with multiple hits to be entered into CODIS and it wasn't until 2013 when CODIS changed its software," said Lt. Slaton.

So the case went cold again, that is till Nov. 2015 when BRPD got some new information. 

"We asked the crime lab to look at this evidence again, which the match came back on Leighton Hills and Allen Causey," said Lt. Slaton.

When the DNA allegedly linked the two suspects, they were both found already behind bars.

Allan Causey is locked up in Ascension Parish. He's now charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape from the 1995 case.

Leighton Hills is locked up at Elayn Hunt serving time for three counts of attempted second degree murder. He too will now be charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape.

Despite it taking 20 years, officials said it's hopefully closure for the victim.

"With the advent of DNA, we can narrow it down to the exact person," said Lt. Slaton.

"It would be a relief to know that after this time that's gone by, that we look at all these cases as well," said Sgt. Coppola.

Law enforcement is able to get a DNA swab off of people who are arrested on particular felonies, which helps put their DNA in the CODIS system.

Bonds have been set at $150,000 for both Causey and Hills.

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