WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington Police Department detectives say they have solved a 1995 rape case, finally providing closure for the now 50-year-old woman.
Around 2 a.m. September 2, 1995, the victim was working the night shift at a convenience store on 23rd St. when a man reportedly robbed the store and committed the sexual assault. Police say he left before officers arrived.
Under state law at that time, rape kits could not be tested without a known suspect. As a result, the victim’s kit was not tested until 2019, after the Standing Up for Rape Victims Act was signed into law. According to WPD, detectives received a positive CODIS hit in March 2020.
“CODIS hits occur when DNA evidence from an unsolved case matches that of a convicted offender or arrestee; however, an arrest can’t be made on a CODIS hit alone,” WPD wrote in a release.
WPD says detectives worked for the last six months to reopen the investigation, conduct follow-up interviews, and confirm the suspect, 53-year-old Freddie Jackson.
Jackson has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense, and common law robbery.
He is currently serving time in Columbus County, for other, recent robberies, and will be transported to New Hanover Co. once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
“There are still thousands of North Carolina cases left unsolved due to the backlog of rape kits, but more are being tested each month,” WPD wrote. “The WPD Special Victims Unit encourages victims to remain strong and not give up hope. We are actively reviewing cold cases in preparation for future CODIS hits, and hope to continue providing closure for victims and their families.”