EAST HARTFORD, CT – A man has been taken into custody after allegedly raping a teenager in 2021 after police used DNA evidence from an aborted fetus to trace it back to him.
The suspect was arrested on September 13th, almost a year after allegedly committing the heinous crime.
— Christine Dempsey (@ChristineDempse) September 16, 2022
In 2021, a 15-year-old girl’s life changed forever when she was allegedly raped and impregnated by her attacker. As several victims of rape do when they become pregnant, the girl and her parents decided to terminate the pregnancy.
East Hartford Police became aware and started investigating the rape in November after the girl had the pregnancy terminated.
Detectives turned to a rare method that has been used before in different areas of the country, analyzing the DNA available from the fetus in hopes of linking it to a suspect.
Police have not released a lot of information regarding the case which is typical any time there is a victim of a sexual battery, especially when the victim of that rape is a minor. However, police noted that they had zeroed in on a potential suspect shortly after the crime was reported, 50-year-old William Colon.
Police have not released any details as to how they identified Colon as a potential suspect or if he knew the victim before he allegedly raped her but did state that they were unable to develop enough probable cause to take him into custody.
Despite not having enough to lock him up, detectives with the East Hartford Police Special Investigations Unit pushed forward and looked at DNA collected from the fetus.
Police were eventually able to get the DNA they collected from the fetus analyzed through a lab with Colon’s DNA. The lab reported that the DNA from both the fetus and the DNA collected from Colon was a match, showing that he was the biological father.
Armed with the DNA evidence, detectives authored an arrest warrant and presented it to a judge who agreed there was probable cause for Colon’s arrest. Colon was charged with three counts each of second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor and was given a $250,000 bond.
After obtaining the arrest warrant, East Hartford Police began their search and were able to locate and take him into custody for violating the young girl. Detectives interviewed Colon regarding the investigation and he allegedly confessed to the crime.
Colon eventually was transferred to the Hartford Correctional Center on that large bond amount. It is unclear if he has obtained an attorney as of yet.
Sadly, some victims of sexual abuse, regardless if adults or a juvenile, do not report the incident either for fear of retaliation or of not being believed. Thankfully, in this case, detectives and family members supported the young girl and hopefully obtained counseling to keep her on the right track.
East Hartford police: 50-year-old man charged with sexual assault of 15-year-old https://t.co/ku7ofalmQU
— Hartford Courant (@hartfordcourant) September 16, 2022
Sadly, every year countless people become the victims of sexual abuse in some manner. Some of those victims are never able to completely heal from their traumatic experience which is why it is so important for those who are supporting a survivor of sexual abuse to ensure the victim begins counseling right away and sticks with it until cleared by the professional.
Without proper counseling, victims of sexual abuse often feel responsible and guilty about having been raped. They also can feel damaged and or develop self-esteem issues which can lead to anxiety and fear and other problems including suicidal ideations.
Insanity: State of Iowa forces sex trafficking and rape victim to pay $150K in restitution to her rapist’s family
POLK COUNTY, IA – According to a report from Fox News, an Iowa teen who is a victim of sex trafficking and rape, has been ordered by a judge to pay $150,000 in restitution to the family of the rapist she killed.
The teen, identified as 17-year-old Pieper Lewis, was sentenced on Tuesday, September 13th to five years of closely supervised probation and must pay $150,000 restitution to her abuser’s family.
In June of 2020, Lewis stabbed her abuser, identified as 37-year-old Zachary Brooks, more than 30 times. At the time, she was initially charged with first-degree murder.
In 2021, Lewis plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury, both of which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison. At her sentencing on Tuesday, September 13th, Polk County District Court Judge David Porter deferred those prison sentences.
However, if Lewis violates her probation stipulations or commits another crime, she could serve 20 years in prison. Porter ordered Lewis to pay restitution to Brooks’ family because the court was “presented with no other option.”
Restitution is mandatory under Iowa law. When Lewis stabbed Brooks to death, she was 15-years-old at the time. She had reportedly ran away from home to escape her abusive adoptive mother.
She was sleeping in the halls of an apartment building in Des Moines when 28-year-old Christopher Brown took her in and began trafficking her to other men for sex. Among those men was Brooks, who Lewis said raped her multiple times before she killed him.
The teenage girl recalled being forced at knife point to go into his apartment for sex and after Brooks raped her for what ended up being the last time, Lewis grabbed a knife off a bedside table and stabbed him.
Neither the police nor prosecutors dispute whether Lewis was trafficked and assaulted, but prosecutors alleged that Brooks was not an immediate threat because he was asleep when Lewis stabbed him.
Iowa, unfortunately, is not among the dozens of other states that have “safe harbor” laws, which give trafficking victims some level of criminal immunity. Along with her probation stipulations, Lewis will have to complete 200 hours of community service.
From a prepared statement prior to her sentencing, Lewis read:
“My spirit has been burned, but still glows through the flames. Hear me roar, see me glow, and watch me grow. I am a survivor.”
Prosecutors allegedly took issue with Lewis labeling herself as a survivor, claiming that she failed to take responsibility for Brooks’ death and left his children without a father.
The judge also pressed Lewis to explain what he claims are poor choices that she made leading to the stabbing. He also noted his concerns that she sometimes did not follow rules in juvenile detention. Lewis said:
“I took a person’s life. My intentions that day were not to just go out and take somebody’s life. In my mind, I felt that it wasn’t safe, and I felt that I was in danger, which resulted in the acts. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that a crime was committed.”
She said that she regrets the stabbing, but “to say there is one victim is absurd.” While in juvenile detention, Lewis earned her GED and was unable to communicate with friends and family.
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