Thursday, March 15, 2001

State DNA database leads to rape charge

Prisoner indicted in '99 attack

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DNA from an Ohio prisoner has been linked to evidence taken from the rapes of two women in Hamilton and Warren counties.

        Hamilton County prosecutors used that evidence Wednesday to indict Sean B. Price, 25, a convicted burglar from St. Bernard, on charges of aggravated burglary, rape, aggravated robbery and attempted murder in the Oct. 17, 1999, attack on a 29-year-old Symmes Township woman.

        More charges are possible against Mr. Price, in the Aug. 28, 1999, rape of a 45-year-old Deerfield Township woman. That case is scheduled to go to a Warren County grand jury Friday.

        The identification of a suspect comes on the heels of an announcement by the state that it had just completed a $1.2 million project to analyze a backlog of 22,000 DNA samples taken from violent offenders since 1997.

        The DNA match involving Mr. Price was the first time the new database identified a suspect, state officials said.

        Police earlier linked the cases through the use of DNA evidence, but could not identify a suspect.

        The DNA in the Symmes and Deerfield attacks did not match that of what police said is a serial rapist tied to the sexual assaults of four girls and a 27-year-old woman since 1998 in Mason, Colerain Township and Montgomery.

        Mr. Price, now incarcerated at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, was released from prison on shock probation by Judge P. Daniel Fedders of Warren County Common Pleas Court three months before the first attack.

        He had served less than five years of a five-to-25-year sentence for a 1994 burglary in Warren County's Hamilton Township.

        He was sent back to prison last June after he was convicted in a December 1999 burglary and theft of prescription drugs from another home in Hamilton Township, court records show.

        In both of the rapes, the suspect entered condominiums through unlocked windows or doors.

        The Deerfield Township woman, who lived on Millbank Row, told detectives she woke up and found a man standing in her bedroom about 5 a.m. When she tried to scream, he covered her face with a sheet. She could not provide a clear description of the man.

        In the Symmes attack, on Brisben Place, the rapist beat and choked the victim and placed a pillow over her face when she tried to fight him off. The woman described her attacker as white, 20-30 years old, 5-feet-10 to 6 feet tall, with a medium build and a tattoo of a wing on his bicep.

        According to Warren County Jail records, Mr. Price has a tattoo of a flying dragon that runs from his bicep to the middle of his back.
        Sean B. Price was indicted on a rape charge in a 1999 attack.


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