Wednesday, October 28, 2009

After clearing 100 cases, Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad gets grant to continue


The successful Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad has been awarded nearly $500,000 to continue their work for another year.

The half-million-dollar Solving Cold Cases with DNA grant from the National Institute of Justice funds the Squad, which started their work in January 2008. The Board of Police Commissioners approved receipt of the grant at their Oct. 27 meeting.

Since January 2008, the Squad has reviewed 647 cases and cleared 100 of them with the help of the Kansas City Regional Crime Lab. Some of the most notable cases cleared by the Squad include:

* Kevin L. Hayslett committed at least 10 rapes between 2001 and 2003. He sought out vulnerable women, usually forcing them into his car and taking them to a secluded area where he attacked and raped them. He always was armed during the attacks. He was convicted of 10 counts of rape and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

* In August 1992, a man and woman walking home were attacked by a group of four men. The men forced the couple into their home and came in with them. Each of the four men took turns raping the woman while holding the man at gunpoint. They also stole electronics and the male victim’s car keys. Now, all four of the men have been indentified, charged and convicted. Elbert J. Hicks and Marcus N. Mitchell received 25-year sentences; Terrence Curry was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and on Oct. 16, 2009, Kevin E. Hicks received a 45-year sentence.

* Samuel S. Johnson was charged with five rapes that occurred during the summer of 1982 in and around Westport. He broke into women’s apartments and raped them. He had almost finished a 30-year prison sentence for another 1982 Westport rape when the new charges were filed. He died in jail awaiting trial for the five new charges.

Captain Mark Folsom, commander of KCPD’s Special Victims Unit, said that after 100 cases solved, he looks forward to the Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad’s continued success.

"This grant means we can continue to get long-awaited justice for the victims of these heinous crimes," he said.

Since January 2008, the Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad filed charges in 29 cases, and another 71 were cleared by exceptional means. Exceptional clearance means the suspect was identified, located, and there was sufficient evidence to prosecute, but the prosecution could not go forward because of exceptional reasons. Some of the most common include the suspect being deceased; the suspect being incarcerated elsewhere and ineligible for extradition; or the victim refusing to cooperate in prosecution.

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