Carried by DNA evidence, officials in upstate South Carolina arrested a man Wednesday who they said raped a woman in a gas station bathroom 17 years ago.
Robert Threadgill, 37, is accused of approaching an employee at the gas station in Cowpens in 2000 and attempting to have her open a safe, according to multiple media reports.
The suspect in 2000 was wearing a mask to conceal his identity, and when the victim was unable to open the safe, officials said he forced her into a bathroom and raped her.
A customer entered the gas station after the assault, and the suspect allegedly pointed a gun and told the customer to leave, according to Fox Carolina. The customer called police on a cellphone after leaving the store, according to the TV station.
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The suspect fled from the store, making off with $60, multiple media outlets reported, while the woman was taken to a hospital, where a sexual assault kit was created.
Threadgill, who was in jail on an unrelated charge, had his DNA tested a few months ago, multiple media outlets reported. The test led to a match in the 2000 rape case.
“Prayer works and you can’t convince me otherwise,” Sheriff Chuck Wright of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said, according to TV station WYFF.
Threadgill faces charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and armed robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.