Police arrest man charged in 29-year-old rape cold case

Police arrest man charged in 29-year-old rape cold case
Annie Sisk's case has been sitting cold for so many years, until this weekend when police finally found the man they believe raped her. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A woman has waited nearly three decades for answers. Twenty-nine years ago, Annie Sisk said she was raped in her Louisville home. Her case has been sitting cold for so many years, until this weekend when police finally found the man they believe raped her.

Sisk said she was 24 when she was raped at her apartment off of Main Street. She was expecting a friend to visit her, there was a knock at her door and she answered.

“This man pushed his way in,” Sisk said. “He quickly subdued me. He had me tied up and gagged.”

Sisk was raped. Police were called and she went to the ER and was examined. Time passed and she eventually moved from Louisville to South Carolina and lived with her mother.

“Sort of rebuilt my life from there,” Sisk said. “Assumed fairly quickly that I didn’t learn much from police, that they would never find him.”

For 29 years, that was her reality. She said she buried her pain. Things we do everyday, like opening a door, have been traumatizing for Sisk.

“I’m afraid something is on the other side,” Sisk said. “Anybody knocks on the door, my anxiety just, still to this day.”

Over the summer, Sisk contacted LMPD and asked them to look into her case again. They did and found a DNA match through CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, that lead them to 70 year old Roscoe Smith. He was arrested on December 7th.

"He was arrested 29 years to the day," Sisk said.

Smith was in court on Monday. He's charged with rape, sodomy, and burglary.

Sisk said news of Smith’s arrest brought her relief.

"My rapist is in jail and he's going to face justice," Sisk said. "He has to answer for this."

Smith has previous criminal convictions for wanton endangerment. He was just released from state supervision in November.

Sisk said that when she moved to South Carolina, she volunteered at a rape crisis network. She said something has to change to solve and prosecute more cases.

She wants other victims who chose to come forward to never give up.

This cold case arrest comes as the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting released in depth article on Louisville’s rape cases. KYCIR is a partner of WAVE 3 News. The piece is on Louisville’s 2017 rape cases and how they were handled.

Eleanor Klibanoff, a reporter with KYCIR, spent a year going through police reports, open records requests, and speaking to rape victims. Her story, Prosecution Declined, uncovered how these cases were handled between LMPD and the prosecutors office.

“What we found is that the police often bring prosecutors rape cases very early in the investigation before an arrest is made, prosecutors decline the case and police clear it anyway,” Klibanoff said.

In the article, KYCIR found out that there were 194 rapes reported in 2017, and only four people have been convicted of those rapes. To read the full article, click or tap here.

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