Serial Sex Offender Found Guilty
Ohio’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits can be counted into the thousands. For 18 years, unsubmitted kits were put to the side between ‘93 and 2011, and subsequently, victims got no justice for the crimes against them, until now.
Two of the kits tested in the backlog hit on a CODIS match to the same man. In October 2007, Basim Barnes, who was in his mid-twenties, held a woman at gunpoint and taken to a derelict house, where she was sexually assaulted. Two years later, he did the same thing to a homeless woman who was walking to a shelter for the night. He then stole the 19 year old’s purse and drove off.
“She was asked if she needed a ride, at that point he brought out a gun, took her to an abandoned building and raped her,” said Cuyahoga County Assisting Prosecuting Attorney Oscar Albores explained at the press conference.
Barnes was indicted in 2016 for his crimes but was already serving time in New Hampshire. After representing himself at trial, Barnes was finally convicted of his crimes by a jury of his peers and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
"We continue to hunt and hold accountable individuals who have sexually assaulted citizens in our community. I pray that these victims can now feel a bit of security knowing their assailant will remain behind bars," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley.
The FBI’s national DNA database, CODIS, has around 3million profiles sitewide. In more recent years, the use of the database has seen the capture of the notorious Golden State Killer amongst others, but police departments across the country are hoping that rapists will also get scooped up.
“I would hope serial rapists at the very least are aware, it can be years later but we can still find you and try to get justice for these two women,” Albores said.
As for the backlog of sexual assault kits, according to 19 News, the team has now gone through over 7,000 cases and has found that many of the suspects are ongoing offenders. The County Prosecutor’s Office has over 800 people indicted on historic assault cases.
If you are waiting for results from your sexual assault kit, you can find help at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.