Man arrested for burglary, DNA linked to 2004 rape case

Roman Degante Jr. provided photo.
Roman Degante Jr. provided photo.

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - On June 6, 2004 a 17-year-old girl reported being raped on North B Street in Hamilton. Now officials say evidence obtained during that investigation is being used to charge a man in connection with the rape 10 years later.

Roman Degante Jr. was arrested by Hamilton Police in March of last year on a burglary charge. A sample of his DNA was obtained at the time of that arrest and was placed in the CODIS database. Once placed, his DNA matched the DNA taken during investigation of the 2004 rape.

According to the case report, Degante Jr. dragged the girl to a vacant parking lot where he struck her in the face and head with his fists and kicked her. He then raped her.

Degante Jr. pleaded guilty to rape and kidnapping Monday. Detectives in the case say they credit the courage of the victim for helping to solve the case several years later.

"It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied," said Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser. "In this case justice delayed resulted in justice being served."

Degante Jr. will be sentenced by Judge Patricia Oney in the Butler County Common Pleas Court on Oct. 13.

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