NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) – A Worcester man was recently charged with rape after a sexual assault kit linked to a case in 2010 was finally tested for DNA in February, officials announced on Friday.
Scot Trudeau, 47, was indicted by a Bristol County grand jury on counts of aggravated rape and assault and assault in connection with the rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Bedford in a cold case, according to Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn .
In March 2010, the victim was walking down Coffin Avenue in the north end of town when she was violently assaulted by two men, the prosecutor’s office said. She was then hit on the head and dragged to a secluded area, where Trudeau allegedly raped her while the other man held her.
Investigators determined that the victim could not see or identify the men because they were wearing hoodies.
After being taken to St Luke’s Hospital for treatment, the victim was subjected to sexual assault evidence. That kit was one of more than 1,100 from Bristol County alone that the state attorney’s office said was never fully tested by the state lab.
“After our office became aware of the scale and breadth of the problem with untested rape kits in Bristol County and across the state, we took action to obtain a federal grant. We then began the careful process of inventorying and prioritizing all untested rape kits in our county,” the prosecutor’s office said in a release.
In February, the rape kit linked to that case was tested and resulted in the recovery of a DNA profile that led to Trudeau’s arrest.
“If this victim’s rape kit had been fully tested in 2010, it would have matched the defendant’s DNA sample presented following his 2015 federal conviction on child sexual exploitation charges,” the prosecutors’ office added. “Furthermore, had we not taken this initiative and brought this issue to light nationwide, the kit likely would never have been fully tested and the case would have remained unresolved. “
“A perpetrator of sexual violence is often a repeat offender. It’s not a one-time deal,” said Kim Dawkins, director of Pathways for Change, a rape crisis center in central Massachusetts. “So this is another way to prevent sexual violence from happening in the future.”
Trudeau’s indictment is the first related to the Untested Rape Kit Initiative, which is an ongoing push to obtain 1,148 previously untested Bristol County rape kits under a Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant Quinn received in 2019, entirely from a private lab to be tested.
Trudeau is currently on federal probation after serving a federal sentence for attempting to travel to engage in illegal sexual activity with a minor.
He is scheduled to appear in court for a dangerousness hearing on Tuesday.
“Some survivors will be relieved, they will be angry, some will be triggered,” Dawkins explained. In this case, DA Quinn said the survivor was relieved to hear the news.
“Hopefully additional fees will come along,” he said. “At least the satisfaction that we did something to test all these kits, fully test what should have happened.”
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