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I-Team: Woman speaks out after big break in case 13 years after sex assault

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio -- The FOX 8 I-Team has found a local woman may finally get justice 13 years after a sex assault, thanks to new technology used to test evidence.

And Dawn Miller is using the break in her case to take the bold step of speaking out even as a sex assault victim. She said, "Women need to know. Don't be afraid to come forward. These men will do it again. And it's not fair."

In 2005, Miller was attacked in Geauga County at a medical clinic where she was getting treatment for a sleep disorder. Investigators tested evidence and took a hard look at the case, but they didn’t have enough to file charges.

Now, new testing of the old evidence with new DNA technology has helped identify a suspect.

Miller said when investigators came to her door to tell her, she was overwhelmed. She said, “Oh! I cried. I mean, I cried for a long time.”

Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz told the I-Team, “This year the DNA was retested, and there’s some new technology.” He added, “This isn’t the only time we’ve been able to do this. And it’s a big help. If the evidence is there, we’re going to aggressively pursue these cases.’

Still, getting justice at the courthouse not guaranteed. A grand jury still has to vote for charges. And the prosecutor, of course, still has to prove the case in front of a judge.

Dawn Miller said, “This man needs to go to prison.”

She plans to testify before a grand jury to help move the case along. And she wanted to stand up to be heard by you, too. She added, “Women need to speak out. They shouldn’t feel it’s their fault. They need to go out and tell somebody.”

If the grand jury approves an indictment, Dawn may finally get her day in court after waiting 13 years.