With the help of DNA technology, a Kansas City sex offender has been charged with the rapes of two women in 1992.
Keith L. Harris, 48, faces two counts of forcible rape, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said Monday.
The victims said they were raped inside the suspect's semitrailer. Harris was driving trucks for a living when he was arrested over the weekend.
"I'm pleased we were able to charge Harris with these horrible crimes," Baker said Monday. "The beauty of DNA is it's never too late to go forward with a case."
According to court records, two women, 18 and 19, told police that on April 4, 1992, they were approached by a man about 11:30 p.m. at a bar located at Kansas Ave and 10th Street in Kansas City, KS.
The women said the man introduced himself as "Keith" from Louisiana. After talking for a while the man asked the teens if they wanted to ride in his semi to another bar. The victims agreed, court records state.
However, the man decided to drive them to a vacant dirt lot near Nicholson and North Monroe avenues in Kansas City. Prosecutors said Harris forced both teens to lie down in the sleeper-area of the truck and remove their clothes.
He held the knife to one of the victim's throat and told her he would kill her. He then told the victims he had a gun.
Harris then began to rape both women in his truck, prosecutors said. After raping the first woman, he began to rape the second one. The first woman managed to escape and run to a nearby residence, where she called police.
The second woman got free while the man fled the scene.
Evidence taken from the crime scene was matched to Harris last August.
Harris was taken into custody on Sunday, and prosecutors requested a $350,000 bond.
Harris denied knowing either woman or ever having contact with either of them.
"Cases like this are wonderful to solve, but it's a tough day for the victims to relive that moment in time," Baker said. "The entire community takes a sigh of relief that we can reach back in time and solve this."
In February 1995, Harris was charged with raping a 27-year-old woman in Binghamton, NY.
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