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DNA identifies offender from sexual assaults over 2 decades ago: Guelph police

Guelph police say a 22-year-old cold case has been solved. Matt Carty / Global Guelph

Guelph police say two sexual assaults from over two decades ago have been solved thanks to advancements in DNA technology.

In a news release on Thursday, police said two women were sexually assaulted in their Guelph homes in 1999, less than four months apart.

Read more: DNA links man to 12-year-old Guelph break-in, police say

The first attack happened on July 24, 1999, when a 74-year-old woman was attacked at her home.

Then on Nov. 14, 1999, a 45-year-old woman was confronted in her bedroom by a man holding a knife. Police said she was able to fight off her attacker.

“The two cases were linked by DNA that had been collected by Guelph police at the crime scene and subsequently analyzed by the Centre of Forensic Science,” police said.

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After the assaults, police said a task force was even formed, consisting of 11 officers, but the offender still could not be identified, police said.

In 2010, police had another look at the cold case but did not make an arrest.

“The case always remained open and in 2020, Guelph police once again revisited the investigation,” the service said.

“It was through the advancement of DNA that has occurred between 2010 and the present that police were able to identify the male responsible for these sexual assaults.”

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Police said the offender was a Guelph man in his 20s at the time of the sexual assaults who has since died.

Read more: DNA solves 1984 murder of Christine Jessop, suspect dead

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His name will not be released, police said.

“The Guelph Police Service is genuinely relieved that the person responsible for these very serious offences has been identified and, after 22 years, these cases and their victims have closure,” police said.

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