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Akron man pleads not guilty to rape charges connected to 2010 sexual assault

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 20, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — Derrick Fischer, 51, pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape in the Summit County Court of Common Pleas Wednesday afternoon.

The charges stem from a 2010 sexual assault report in Barberton. News 5 Investigators learned the case was reopened after Fischer's DNA matched a sexual assault kit in the case.

Fischer was linked to another rape in our 2019 Emmy-award-winning series "Expired Justice."

READ MORE: Expired Justice: Despite DNA evidence, statute of limitations prevents prosecution of Ohio rape cases

For years, Akron mother Maryellen Bryan wondered who had broken into her home and sexually assaulted her in June 1991.

After Ohio tested its backlog of rape kits, she finally had an answer. She said, "When my kit was tested, they found a DNA match that came through CODIS. And that match was that it was a person named Derrick Fischer."

The DNA match provided the information she sought, but not justice.

Fischer was never arrested or charged in her case. Like many states, Ohio has a statute of limitations (SOL) for rape. The law creates a window of time a crime can be prosecuted.

For Maryellen, the window was already closed.

Ohio's current SOL for rape is 25 years with an exception for DNA evidence, but the law was less generous when her assault took place.

While justice expired for her, Maryellen is hopeful the victim in the 2010 case will receive "justice she deserves."

Fischer is currently being held in Summit County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

He was already behind bars. He was convicted of drug and domestic violence charges in 2016.

He was convicted of a different rape in 1992.

His next hearing in the 2010 Barberton case is scheduled for May 10.

RELATED: Man charged for 2010 sexual assault after statute of limitations prevents prosecution for 1991 rape

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