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Cuyahoga Co. Prosecutor's Office: 3 cold case rape suspects identified through genealogical testing

Gavel
Cuyahoga County
Posted at 12:59 PM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 12:59:20-05

CLEVELAND — Three men have been identified as suspects in multiple cold case rapes dating back decades, according to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

Leo Bradley Scott III, 60 years old, aka John Doe #64, is a suspect in two rape cases from 1994 and 1998. Rayshawn Hundley, aged 47, aka John Doe #102, is the suspect in a rape case from 1995. Thomas Graham, aka Joe Doe #11, now deceased, is the suspect in three rape cases; two from 1994 and one from 1998.

The men have been linked to the sexual assaults through rape kits collected after each attack, authorities said. The cases were indicted at the time and the suspects were listed as John Doe to prevent the statute of limitations from running out.

In 2019 and 2020, the prosecutor’s office Sexual Assault Kit Task Force was awarded grants to launch the G.O.L.D. Unit (Genetic Operations Linking DNA), which contracted with Gene by Gene for a pilot project. This included genealogical searches for 20 of the "most wanted" DNA profiles connected to cold case sexual assaults.

Leo Bradley Scott III, aka John Doe #64
The prosecutor's office said Scott is accused of raping a 22-year-old woman in Cleveland on Oct. 14, 1994. Authorities say the woman was walking on Euclid Avenue when she was grabbed, dragged to another location and sexually assaulted.

Four years later, on April 18, 1998, Scott then allegedly raped a 26-year-old woman who was walking home from a club in East Cleveland. Authorities say the man pulled up to her and offered her a ride. When she refused, he grabbed her and dragged her into his car, went to a nearby parking lot and raped her.

Scott was arrested on July 20, 2021. He's charged with three counts of rape and two counts of kidnapping.

Rayshawn Hundley, aka John Doe #102
Hundley is accused of breaking into a house on Dec. 31, 1995 and raping a 16-year-old girl who was sleeping at her aunt's house on Cleveland's East Side and was home alone. He left after stealing a VCR and cassette tapes.

Hundley was arrested on Oct. 4, 2021. He's charged with one count each of rape, kidnapping and aggravated burglary.

Thomas Graham, aka John Doe #11
Graham is accused of raping a 25-year-old woman on June 7, 1994, that he met two weeks prior. Authorities say the victim met up with Graham for a ride and once in the car, he drove to an alley and assaulted her at knife-point.

The second case he's a suspect in happened on Nov. 24, 1994. Authorities say a 20-year-old woman was walking home in Cleveland when the suspect forced her into his car, drove to another location and assaulted her.

The third case happened on Aug. 30, 1998. According to the prosecutor's office, Graham sexually assaulted a 27-year-old woman when she got into his car and then later stole $40 from her. A bystander who heard her screaming called police.

He's charged with five counts of rape, three counts of kidnapping and one count of robbery.

A motion was filed on Dec. 16, 2021 to dismiss the case as abated by death since Graham is deceased, the prosecutor's office said.

Top 20 Most Wanted

The three men identified by the G.O.L.D. Unit so far are among the top 20 "most wanted" DNA profiles selected after an "extensive review" process that considered serial offenders, stranger sexual assaults and other relevant facts, the prosecutor's office said.

“Three more suspects have been identified through the great work of our G.O.L.D. Unit and our partners,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “These individuals were able to evade justice for several years and will now be held accountable for the vile crimes they have committed.”

Although the two arrests were made in the summer and fall, the prosecutor’s office said they waited to publicize them until suspects were identified in multiple cases.

The unit has created an interactive map showing the incident locations for the 20 "most wanted" profiles, which can be viewed here.

The first man arrested after testing by the unit, 50-year-old Bart Mercurio, was arrested on July 9 at his residence in Elyria in connection with the alleged rape of a woman in Tremont in 1999. His trial is scheduled to begin on Feb. 7, 2022, according to court records.

RELATED: Genealogical testing helps prosecutors identify and arrest suspect in 1999 Tremont rape case

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