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Akron man linked by DNA to 2007 rape sentenced to 20 years in prison

Gerry Simmons
Gerry Simmons(Source: Summit County Jail)
Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 11:28 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A 40-year-old Akron man convicted for a rape that happened nearly 15 years ago was just sentenced to spend two decades in prison.

The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office said Gerry Simmons, of Callis Drive in Akron, was sentenced to 20 years after pleading guilty in the beginning of October to two counts of first-degree felonious rape.

According to investigators, the rape attack survivor went to the hospital in 2007 to provide evidence in a sexual assault kit. At the time the kit was collected, a suspect was not identified.

The sexual assault kit was tested again in 2015. The evidence that was collected matched Simmons’ DNA, the prosecutor’s office said.

“I am proud of the survivor, who showed tremendous strength after nearly 14 years of waiting,” said Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Simmons, who is currently already serving jail time, will begin serving the 20-year prison term once the sentence from a previous felonious assault case expires.

The case was prosecuted with assistance from the Akron Police Department’s Sexual Assault Kit Initiative team, a specialist unit that reviews unsolved rape cases that are less than 20 years old where DNA was collected without a suspect match at the time.

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