Convicted sex offender linked to March 20 rape through DNA evidence

 

 

A jury learned Tuesday that the man accused of rape and other crimes in a brutal attack in March was previously convicted of the sexual battery of two young teens.

Johnnie L. Baker, 38, has pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to charges of rape, kidnapping, aggravated sodomy, false imprisonment and burglary in the March 20 attack.

Testimony is to resume Thursday morning, weather permitting.

On Tuesday, two young women testified that in April 2007 Baker was staying with their family. On separate occasions each was awakened by fondling. It was Baker, they testified.

“He put his hand on my mouth and said I’d better not say anything,” testified one of the victims who was 14 years old when the fondling happened.

Baker was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for those crimes. He was released on April 28, 2012. A year later he was arrested for the March 20 attack.

According to witnesses, a masked man dressed in a black leather coat and black clothes broke into a woman’s home. After beating her boyfriend with what appeared to be a sawed-off broom handle and driving him out of the home, the masked man raped the woman after punching and cutting her.

Baker’s defense banked on the possibility that DNA samples taken from inmates, including Baker and another man with a similar name, were switched in the DNA database. But a crime lab scientist testified Tuesday that the DNA testing was done on samples submitted from the victim’s rape kit examination and a swab sample taken from Baker’s mouth in June.

Baker’s DNA was a match to DNA recovered from the victim.

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