23-year-old rape kit leads to arrest of Jacksonville man serving life sentence

State plans to eliminate backlog by the end of June

A local rape kit tested 23 years after the crime has led to an arrest.

A recent arrest report for Jerome Williams in Duval County shows he was a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) match in 2016 for a 1996 rape.

Police say Williams kidnapped a woman and her two children at gunpoint before raping her in front of them.

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On Feb. 1, 2016, a sexual assault kit was submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for DNA examination.

The match was to the DNA profile of suspect Jerome Williams, who denied the allegations and stated that he had never seen the victim before.

According to the department of corrections, Williams was serving a life sentence for a 2002 conviction of sexual battery and kidnapping.

Florida law now requires newly collected sexual assault kits be processed within 120 days.

In 2015, the 4th Judicial Circuit which covers Clay, Nassau, and Duval counties received a $1.9 million grant to help test sexual assault kits.​

The state hopes to eliminate the backlog of sex assault kits by the end of June.

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The latest numbers show there are fewer than 1,000 backlogged kits left to be tested statewide.

With 8,600 backlogged kits, 7,609 have now been tested, and FDLE expects to complete their testing goal by the end of June.

Their data also shows 1,514 CODIS hits, which means DNA was matched in the system and could lead to an arrest.