CLEVELAND- An effort to process a backlog of rape kits for DNA matches has yielded another conviction and long prison sentence in Cuyahoga County.
The county prosecutor’s office says 70-year-old Warren Durham was sentenced to 41 years in prison on Wednesday for raping four women in the mid-1990s.
DNA testing of old rape kits linked him to the unsolved sexual assault cases that occurred between November 1993 and November 1995.
The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office says that in each of the four assaults, Durham approached the woman while she was walking and then either forced her or lured her into his vehicle before raping her.
In three of the rapes, he used a weapon including a pencil held to a woman’s neck, a crowbar and a gun.
Durham was found guilty by a jury last month of charges including rape, kidnapping and gross sexual imposition.
“Warren Durham is the bogeyman women fear when walking alone. In all likelihood, Durham will not live to see his freedom in 41 years,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Maxwell Martin. “This is an appropriate punishment for someone who brought so much terror and pain to these women.”
Processing of the backlog of rape kits in Ohio’s largest county has led to the convictions of at least 10 serial rapists. More than 3,900 sexual assault kits from the county have been tested for DNA through the initiative.