Convicted Rapist Free After DNA Evidence Clears Him

CLEVELAND - A man who had been charged with rape and spent more than a year in jail is now free thanks to DNA evidence, 19/43 News' Ed Gallek exclusively reported.

Investigators locked up Kenneth Roberts after the victim of a September 2000 rape identified him. He had lived near the campus of Case Western Reserve University, where the rape took place, and he had been convicted of rape before.

Charges, however, had to be dropped because, according to prosecutors, the DNA evidence didn't match.

The prime suspect's release leaves the real rapist out there, and nearly every woman on the campus with whom 19/43 News talked said that they are thinking about that fact.

"It's very scary to think that someone is still running around who did it," student Erin Durkin said.

19/43 News wanted to talk to Roberts, but his mother answered the apartment intercom.

"I don't want to talk to you," she said. "Talk to my attorney. Don't bother us again. Please leave."

"It's scary because most of us are scared to walk by ourselves outside as it is, and now it's time to think about it even more," student Jennifer Neville said.

Neville is just one of the students who still has a pamphlet that the victim published and spread around campus right after the attack. It includes poetry and graphic descriptions of what happened.

"I guess I just held onto it to remind me to always be aware and cautious," Neville said.

Prosecutors said that the reason it took so long to drop the charges against Roberts was that he was in jail and spent months going through psychiatric evaluations. They also said that the case was on hold for a long time.