Man matched to crime through DNA found guilty in 1997 rape case

Man matched to crime through DNA found guilty in 1997 rape case
A jury in state district court on Wednesday found Lorenzo D. Watson, 43, guilty of aggravated rape in the Jan. 10, 1997 crime. Watson was tied to the crime using DNA. (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A guilty verdict has been returned in a 1997 rape case.

A jury in state district court on Wednesday found Lorenzo D. Watson, 43, guilty of aggravated rape in the Jan. 10, 1997 crime.

The victim was tied up and violently raped at knifepoint in her home by someone who broke in, but the perpetrator’s identity went unknown for more than 20 years, according to information from Patsy Dugas, public information officer with the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office. In 2017, the Lake Charles Police Department, with the victim’s consent, ran the DNA from the crime through a national database, matching it with Watson’s.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Elliott Cassidy and Assistant District Attorney Hope Buford.

Watson represented himself.

Watson will be sentenced Sept. 26, 2019, by Judge Sharon Wilson. Aggravated rape carries a mandatory life sentence without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

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