Statesboro police arrested a Vidalia man Wednesday after DNA evidence linked him to a rape reported in October, 2014 at Somerset Apartments.
Michael Teddy Powell, 58, West Sixth Street, Vidalia, faced charges of sexual assault in the past, but was found not guilty in 1998 after a two-day trial, according to reports by the Carolina Morning News.
Now he is charged with rape, aggravated sodomy and burglary stemming from the Somerset Apartments incident, said Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner.
A 21-year-old victim, now 22, contacted Statesboro police just after midnight Oct. 2, 2014, reporting having been raped at her Somerset Apartment home on Fair Road, he said. Somerset Apartments are across the street from East Georgia Regional Medical Center.
She told police the man she said later raped her “knocked on the front door prior to midnight. When the victim answered the door the offender forced his way into the apartment and sexually assaulted the victim,” he said in a statement released Thursday.
The victim told police that the offender’s face was covered during the incident.
The victim was escorted to the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center for an exam, and a sexual assault kit was obtained during the exam, including DNA samples. The case was led by Det. Lt. James Winskey.
The DNA samples were submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for analysis, Turner said. In February, Winskey received information from the crime lab indicating the presence of male DNA in test samples.
In June, Winskey was notified the DNA analysis was complete and would be entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for comparison purposes. Last week, “the Statesboro Police Department received a DNA match from CODIS as being Michael Teddy Powell of Vidalia, Georgia,” Turner said.
Winskey secured warrants for Powell’s arrest Wednesday and contacted Vidalia police, who located and arrested Powell at his residence in the late afternoon on the same day. Powell was transported to the Bulloch County Jail, where he is held without bond.
This is not Powell’s first sexually-related offense. Aside from the acquittal in 1995, he is listed in Vidalia as a registered sex offender, according to www.homefacts.com, and was convicted on Peeping Tom charges in Jan. 1985, according to the site.
A jury found Powell not guilty during a trial regarding the sexual assault charge in 1995 on Hilton Head Island, the Carolina Morning News reported. He was accused of sexually assaulting a 26-year-old woman in her North Forest Beach home.
The newspaper also reported Powell was sentenced to 50 years in 1998 on charges of six counts of burglary, three counts of petty larceny and assault on a police officer. The offenses occurred in the South Forest Beach area of Hilton Head Island between Oct. 27, 1996, and March 12, 1997. Powell was arrested three times and released on bond twice previously, according to reports.
The South Carolina Department of Corrections website only releases information about currently incarcerated inmates. The Statesboro Herald was unable to immediately locate information on how long Powell served or when he was released on parole.
“The Statesboro Police Department would like to thank Vidalia Police Department for their assistance in the apprehension of the offender,” Turner said.
Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Statesboro Police Department at (912) 764-9911.
Anonymous tips may also be sent to www.tipsoft.com or by sending the text “TIPSSPD” followed by your message to 274637 (CRIMES).
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.