Cuyahoga County

G.O.L.D. Unit Utilizes Genealogical Testing to Identify Three More Sexual Assault “20 Most Wanted” DNA Profiles

12/28/2021

 

CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s (CCPO) G.O.L.D. Unit (Genetic Operations Linking DNA) has identified three more “most wanted” suspects, Leo Bradley Scott III, 60, for two sexual assaults in 1994 and 1998, Rayshawn Hundley, 47, for a sexual assault in 1995, and Thomas Graham, deceased, for three sexual assaults, two in 1994 and one in 1998.

“Three more suspects have been identified through the great work of our G.O.L.D. Unit and our partners,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “These individuals were able to evade justice for several years and will now be held accountable for the vile crimes they have committed.”

In 2019 and 2020, the CCPO’s Sexual Assault Kit Task Force (SAKTF)* was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice. Part of that funding helped launch the office’s G.O.L.D. Unit in October 2020.  The G.O.L.D. Unit contracted with Gene By Gene for a pilot project that included genealogical searches for 20 DNA profiles connected to cold case sexual assaults. These 20 “most wanted” profiles were carefully selected after an extensive review process that considered serial offenders, stranger sexual assaults, and other relevant facts of each case.

John Doe #64

On October 14, 1994, the female victim, 22, was walking eastbound on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland when she was approached by Leo Bradley Scott III. He dragged her near East 118th Street, choked her, stated he would kill her, and then sexually assaulted her. Afterward, Scott fled the scene. The victim called the police and was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

On April 18, 1998, a second female victim, 26, was at a club in East Cleveland with friends and family. The victim left the club and was walking home when Leo Bradley Scott III drove up and offered her a ride. When she declined, Scott pulled her into his car, drove to a parking lot on Shaw Avenue, and then sexually assaulted her. The victim called police and was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

In 2013, the CCPO assembled the SAKTF to address investigative leads that resulted from the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits primarily between 1993 to 2011. The victim’s sexual assault kit was tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) as part of the initiative. However, Scott’s DNA did not produce any matches in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) – the FBI’s national DNA database. Scott’s DNA profile – unknown at the time – was then indicted as “John Doe #64” as a means to ensure that the statute of limitations did not run out. “John Doe #64” was charged with the following:

  •  Three counts of Rape
  •  Two counts of Kidnapping

The DNA profile for “John Doe #64” was submitted as part of the project. DNA analysts and investigative genetic genealogists were able to connect “John Doe #64’s” DNA profile to that of Leo Bradley Scott III.

Investigators then surreptitiously obtained Scott’s DNA and sent it to BCI to be tested. The tests confirmed that the DNA in the victim’s sexual assault kit matched that of Scott. The original “John Doe #64” indictment was amended to reflect his name as the defendant and an arrest warrant was issued. On July 20, 2021, the U.S. Marshals arrested him without incident.

John Doe #102

On December 31, 1995, the female victim, 16, was in town visiting her aunt. She was sleeping at her aunt’s house home alone near Donald Avenue and East 74th Street. Rayshawn Hundley broke in, went into the victim’s bedroom, and sexually assaulted her. After, Hundley stole a VCR and cassette tapes before leaving the scene. The victim called the police and was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.  

Hundley’s DNA did not produce any matches in CODIS. Hundley’s DNA profile – unknown at the time – was then indicted as “John Doe #102” as a means to ensure that the statute of limitations did not run out. “John Doe #102” was charged with the following:

  • One count of Rape
  • One count of Kidnapping
  • One count of Aggravated Burglary

The DNA profile for “John Doe #102” was submitted as part of the project. DNA analysts and investigative genetic genealogists were able to connect “John Doe #102’s” DNA profile to that of Rayshawn Hundley.

Investigators then surreptitiously obtained Hundley’s DNA and sent it to BCI to be tested. The tests confirmed that the DNA in the victim’s sexual assault kit matched that of Hundley. The original “John Doe #102” indictment was amended to reflect his name as the defendant and an arrest warrant was issued. On October 4, 2021, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office arrested him without incident. 

John Doe #11

On June 7, 1994, the female victim, 25, met up with Thomas Graham, who she met for the first time two weeks prior, for a ride near Madison Avenue in Cleveland. Once in the car, he drove her to an alley near West 48th Street and Storer Avenue and sexually assaulted her in the car at knifepoint. After, Graham forced the victim out of the car. She ran to a nearby house and called the police. She was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

On November 24, 1994, a second female victim, 20, was walking home near West 44th Street and Clark Avenue in Cleveland. Thomas Graham approached her and forced her into a vehicle. He then drove her to another location near West 44th Street and Woodbridge Avenue and sexually assaulted her. After, he pushed her out of the car, and she ran to a nearby good Samaritan who called the police. She was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

On August 30, 1998, a third female victim, 27, was near West 47th Street and Lorain Avenue when she got into a car with Thomas Graham. Once inside, he sexually assaulted her and stole $40 before forcing her out of the vehicle. A nearby good Samaritan heard the victim screaming and called the police. She was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

Thomas Graham’s DNA did not produce any matches in CODIS. Graham’s DNA profile – unknown at the time – was then indicted as “John Doe #11” as a means to ensure that the statute of limitations did not run out. “John Doe #11” was charged with the following:

  • Five counts of Rape
  • Three counts of Kidnapping
  • One count of Robbery

The DNA profile for “John Doe #11” was submitted as part of the project. DNA analysts and investigative genetic genealogists were able to connect “John Doe #11’s” DNA profile to that of Thomas Graham.

Investigators then surreptitiously obtained Graham’s DNA and sent it to BCI to be tested. The tests confirmed that the DNA in the victim’s sexual assault kit matched that of Graham. The original “John Doe #11” indictment was amended to reflect his name as the defendant. Because the defendant is deceased, a motion to dismiss the case as abated by death was filed on December 16, 2021.

*SAKTF / G.O.L.D. Unit History

Since its inception, the Task Force has completed over 7,200 investigations that have resulted in over 850 defendants indicted, the highest number of any SAKTF in the country. The number of indictments includes over 900 victims as several defendants are convicted or alleged serial offenders. Of those cases, the Task Force has secured over a 93% conviction rate with offenders’ average prison sentence being approximately 10 years.

As the original 7,026 investigations neared completion, the CCPO contacted the Cleveland Division of Police (CPD) Sex Crimes Unit who indicated there was a need for further investigation on sexual assault kits that have been tested by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office (CCMEO) between 2012 and 2019.  The G.O.L.D. Unit was formed to conduct follow-up investigations and review unknown DNA profiles to determine if they may be eligible for additional testing with new technology. The unit’s work also includes the “20 Most Wanted” cold case sexual assault project, potential genealogical testing of cold case sexually motivated homicides, and continuing the Lawfully Owed DNA project.

The SAKTF / G.O.L.D. Unit is led by the CCPO and includes CPD, BCI, CCMEO, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center.  

"20 MOST WANTED DNA PROFILES" MAP: https://maphub.net/CCPOComm/20-most-wanted-dna-profiles