Detectives use DNA to find ‘Cloverleaf Rapist’
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A man suspected of raping women near Sacramento freeway interchanges several years ago has been arrested after investigators used DNA technology and genealogy websites to zero in on him.
JD Wallace Simien, 40, was taken into custody Thursday and booked for investigation of felony kidnapping, rape, oral copulation and robbery charges, according to jail and court records.
Sacramento County prosecutors and sheriff’s officials said in a joint statement that investigators had linked an unspecified number of violent sexual assaults between 2013 and 2104 to the “Cloverleaf Rapist,” because the crimes happened near freeway entrances and exits that resemble a cloverleaf pattern.
The investigation went cold until detectives used the same DNA genealogy techniques to identify and capture Joseph DeAngelo, dubbed the Golden State Killer, and Roy Waller, the so-called “NorCal Rapist” who was convicted last year of raping nine women in their homes.
“DNA technology is a great tool in our criminal justice system,” District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said in the statement. “DNA can not only be used to exonerate the innocent, but it is a powerful investigative tool for violent crimes that have grown cold because traditional investigative methods are unable to solve the case.”
Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard declined to release further details of the case, including the number of victims and the dates of the crimes, citing the ongoing investigation. A complaint was expected to be filed Monday, when Simien is scheduled to make his first court appearance.
It’s not known whether Simien has retained a lawyer to speak on his behalf.
DeAngelo, a former police officer who committed 13 murders and dozens of rapes, evaded capture for decades before the district attorney’s crime lab used DNA from crime scenes to compare to DNA provided to a genealogical website. He was convicted and sentenced last year to life in prison without parole.
Waller was sentenced last year to 897 years in prison — the maximum allowed by law — for raping nine women during a 15-year crime spree that started in 1991. (AP)