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Elyria man accused in decades-old cold rape case gets $50,000 bond

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 4:52 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Bart Mercurio wasted no time pleading his innocence during his first court appearance.

The 50-year-old is accused of raping and beating a woman inside her Tremont home back in 1999.

19 New’s Investigative Unit first told you about Mercurio’s arrest on Monday.

The Elyria native is now in the Cuyahoga County Jail.

On Tuesday, he made it clear to a judge that he is not guilty of the charges against him.

“On my mom, my three sisters that raised me, this is so embarrassing, I absolutely did not do this,” said Mercurio.

Mercurio was identified as a suspect in this case after genealogical testing linked his DNA to the crime.

The Cuyahoga County Prosecutors office is using new special DNA testing kits to help crack decades-old cold cases.

Mercurio is the first person to be arrested based on the results from these kits.

“The cases aren’t over, it’s not a dead-end. We can continue to try to work and work and try to solve these unsolved crimes on behalf of the victims,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley.

As for Mercurio, the judge granted him a $50,000 bond and he will be back in court later this week.

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