Hamilton Police make arrest in 9-year-old cold case

Roman Degante (Source: Hamilton Police)
Roman Degante (Source: Hamilton Police)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - The Hamilton Police Department has made an arrest in a nine-year-old cold case.

On Thursday, Hamilton Police Department detectives arrested Roman Degante Jr., exactly nine years to the date that a Hamilton woman was kidnapped and raped in the 100 block of North B Street.

On June 6, 2004, a Hamilton woman reported that she was walking home when she was attacked, held against her will, beaten and raped.  The victim was only 17 years old at the time of the Rape and Kidnapping.

On that June night in 2004, detectives gathered evidence and worked to bring the perpetrator to justice. The case was never closed, and after nine years, a DNA match was made with the assistance of B.C.I and the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

"It has been exactly nine years, but it doesn't get any better than this.  The investigating detective did an outstanding job processing the scene and gathering evidence. Thanks to technological advancements, we now have a violent suspect off the streets. Hopefully, this arrest will provide closure for the victim who had moved out of state and tried move on with her life," said Chief of Police Scott Scrimizzi.

"A case like this is precisely why the majority of the Supreme Court ruled earlier this week (5-4) to allow officers to collect buccal swabs as part of the standard booking procedure. A state law in Ohio allowing DNA collections from felony arrestees went into effect in July 2011.  The suspect in this case was arrested for a felony in March of this year by HPD and a buccal swab was collected that led to the DNA hit.  Clearly, law enforcement will solve additional cold cases, as this case proves. DNA is the 21 centuries' fingerprint. This case would not have been solved without the CODIS hit," said Scrimizzi.

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