Cuyahoga County

First indicted of more than 100 rape kit "John Does" convicted in decades old case


Cleveland —In 2013, county investigators and prosecutors scrambled to pin down the identity of a man who was a suspect in two unsolved rapes.

They had his DNA from two old rape kits, but few other clues.

There was a 13-year-old victim who in 1993 told police she was raped by a man name who went by the name "Randy Spivey" and had dated her mother.

And they had a scant police report made by a 37-year-old a woman who three years after that, in 1996, reported that she was pulled into a car and raped by a stranger. She had since died.

The prosecutor's office learned about the case from the Ohio Attorney General's office, which had started testing what would eventually be more than 4,000 Cleveland rape kits dating back to 1993.

The Bureau of Criminal Investigation lab had turned over results in more than 50 unsolved cases, but in many the 20-year window to prosecute was close to running out. (Ohio lawmakers in 2015 extended the statute of limitations to 25 years.)

A Cleveland detective had hit dead ends in figuring out who the man was and set the case aside.

Instead of dropping the case, prosecutors decided to ask for an indictment against a string of genetic markers that made up the Deoxyribonucleic or DNA profile the Ohio scientists had found. At the time, the tactic hadn't often been used in Ohio.

But it would stop the clock on the statute of limitations and give investigators time to further investigate.

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