Cuyahoga County

'Tag team' serial rapists will serve 30-year prison terms for 3 rapes solved by testing rape kits


CLEVELAND, Ohio – A duo that prosecutors referred to as "tag team" serial rapists agreed to serve 30 years each in prison after evidence from previously untested rape kits linked them to the unsolved sexual assaults of three women.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Steven Gall Wednesday sentenced Michael Perry and Thomas Nicholson to the lengthy prison terms that will be served, in part, while they finish serving time for rapes they were convicted of more than a decade ago.

Perry, 40, and Nicholson, 39, were charged in 2002 and later convicted of breaking into a home on East 90th Street where they raped two women and a 16-year-old girl at gunpoint. Both had a little less than a decade still to serve on those sentences.

But the pair had not been connected to three other rapes that also happened around the same time in 2001.

In one of the cases, reported on June 24, 2001, a woman was sitting parked in a car with her boyfriend on E. 116th Street when she was ordered out at gunpoint. She told police that three men forced her to the back yard of a home and two of the men raped her, according to court records.

The other case was reported on Sept. 27, 2001. Two women told police they drove to W. 41st Street looking to purchase drugs. When they pulled up next to a car, three men got into their vehicle. One pulled a gun and demanded money. They were forced to drive two streets away, where they were raped.

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