Wednesday, December 19, 2001

DNA used to indict 3 in rapes

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Three Cincinnati men have been indicted in unsolved rape cases after being linked to the crimes by DNA samples, the Hamilton County prosecutor and Ohio attorney general said Tuesday.

        The rapes occurred between 1993 and this year in Over-the-Rhine, Mount Adams and Louisville.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen, Attorney General Betty D. Montgomery and Hamilton County Coroner Carl L. Parrott made the announcements at a Tuesday press conference.

        Coroner's officials used a DNA database overseen by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI), a division of the attorney general's office.

        Indicted were:

        • Michael Bowman, 37, of Evanston. DNA linked him to a 2001 rape in Cincinnati, a 2000 rape in Louisville, and the 1996 rape and homicide, officials said.

        He is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center after being indicted on rape, kidnapping and robbery charges in the 2001 case.

        • Rodney J. Crooks, 35, of Cincinnati, incarcerated in the London (Ohio) Correctional Institution for a 1994 burglary conviction.

        He was to be paroled Tuesday, but after being linked to a 1993 rape in Over-the-Rhine, his parole was denied. He was indicted on one count of rape, and two counts each of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and felonious assault.

        • Charles Michael Steele, 48, of Cincinnati, incarcerated in the Chillicothe Correctional Institute for a 1994 rape conviction.

        He was indicted on one count each of rape and kidnapping in a 1994 Mount Adams rape.

        The state now collects DNA samples from inmates convicted of 14 specific crimes, including aggravated burglary, aggravated murder, attempted rape and rape, kidnapping and murder.

        The Ohio General Assembly has proposed legislation that would add aggravated robbery, robbery, burglary, felonious assault, attempted aggravated murder and attempted murder.


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