Thursday, February 25, 2010

DNA Cold Hit Links Woodhaven Man to Rapes

By Conor Greene

A Woodhaven father has been charged with two rapes over the past decade after police matched a DNA sample he provided following a recent grand larceny conviction to samples collected from his victims.

Mauricio Rosales, 32, of 88-17 Jamaica Avenue, has been charged in connection with both the 2000 rape of an 11-year-old girl inside the bedroom of her family’s Woodhaven home and the 2003 attack of a 19-year-old Kew Gardens woman in her driveway.

The charges were filed last week after investigators matched a DNA sample taken from Rosales following a petit larceny conviction last November for stealing $3,000 from a former employer. In 2004, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown indicted “John Doe” for the rapes based on the DNA samples from the victims to prevent the statute of limitations from running out before an arrest was made.

According to the charges, Rosales broke in a Woodhaven home at about 6 a.m. on Oct. 20, 2000, entered the 11-year-old victim’s bedroom and raped her while her family was asleep upstairs. He told her that he would kill her if she told anyone about the attack and stole several items before fleeing the scene.

In the second incident, Rosales approached a 19-year-old woman while she was sitting in front of her Kew Gardens home at 11 p.m. on July 17, 2003. He pulled her at knifepoint into her driveway where he allegedly raped and robbed her before fleeing, said police.

Authorities are now looking into whether Rosales is responsible for several other unsolved rapes, according to reports. He was arraigned last Thursday on an indictment charging him with two counts of rape and one count each of burglary, robbery, sexual abuse and attempted robbery. If convicted, he faces up to 50 years in prison.

The married father of five had been working as a food deliveryman in Brooklyn before his arrest. He was located at a Brooklyn food dis- tribution center by detectives from the Special Victim’s Squad after the State Police laboratory matched the DNA samples, the New York Times reported. Following his arrest, Rosales denied the rapes but admitted to being inside the 11-year-old’s bedroom and to encountering the 19-year-old victim.

“This case underscores the crucial importance of DNA evidence, which is irrefutable proof of innocence or guilt,” said District Attorney Brown, adding that “it is time for the legislature to once again expand the DNA law to authorize collection of samples from all convicted defendants – not just the approximately 50 percent of convicted defendants who now are required to submit DNA samples.”

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