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DNA brings conviction in 1996 rape in New Orleans

3 years ago February 17, 2012 Feb 17, 2012 Friday, February 17 2012 Friday, February 17, 2012 7:38:35 AM CST in News
Source: Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS - The Orleans Parish district attorney says DNA from a rape 16 years ago has convicted a 35-year-old man of a sexual assault committed when he was 19.

A jury in New Orleans convicted William Danastasio on Thursday of one count each of aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping. Danastasio is scheduled for sentencing Feb. 23. He faces a life prison sentence.

Authorities said a masked man robbed the victim at a bus stop about 7 a.m. on Jan. 19, 1996, then forced her into his car and raped her under an overpass. The woman was unable to identify him. But a federal grant in 2003 let police get information about the rapist's DNA into a national database., leading to Danastasio's arrest.

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