2005-07-29 / Community

DNA Database Links Man To Rape

By Alyssa Goldstein

A Far Rockaway man faces up to 25 years in prison after DNA evidence recently linked him to a rape that happened six years ago, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has announced.

Santiago Lugo, 43, of 333 Beach 32 Street, is charged with first degree-Rape and multiple counts of sexual abuse. He was arrested at home last Wednesday after a so-called “cold hit” in which the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner matched his DNA to a semen sample taken from the underwear of a 23-year-old woman who was raped in March of 1999.

In 2003, Lugo provided a sample of his DNA to investigators in an unrelated prosecution.

“This case underscores yet again the crucial importance of DNA evidence which is irrefutable proof of guilt or innocence,” said Brown.

Lugo attacked the woman in Jamaica, Queens as she was coming home from work, according to Brown. He allegedly grabbed her from behind as she walked on the street and then took her to a secluded place where he told her not to look at his face and then proceeded to rape and sexually abuse her.

The victim was treated at a local hospital and questioned by detectives, who submitted her clothing for DNA testing.

Lugo was arrested by the NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad detectives and was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Robert Raciti, who set bail at $300,000. He is due back in court on August 8, 2005.

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