More than 20 years after two men offered a woman a ride then raped and dumped her on the side of the road, Baton Rouge police said they have identified her attackers using DNA evidence.
Leighton Hills, 38, and Allen G. Causey, 39, both face counts of first-degree rape and aggravated kidnapping in the 1995 attack after tests by the State Police Crime Laboratory matched their DNA to evidence collected in a sexual assault examination kit from the victim two decades ago, a Baton Rouge police report says.
Two men, now identified as Hills and Causey, drove up to the victim as she walked along the 9200 block of South Choctaw Drive on April 14, 1995, the report says. After she turned down their first offer of a ride, they drove past her several times, then pulled alongside her and again offered to drive her home, according to the report. This time, she accepted.
She got in the car but became afraid after the men drove past her street, the report says.
When she asked where they were taking her, one of the men placed a sharp metal object against her neck and said, “She didn’t think she was going to get a free ride without giving up something,” according to the report.
She was given a choice to either be raped “or die,” the report says.
The suspects drove the vehicle to a gravel road where they demanded her money, stole her watch and forced her into the back seat of the car, the report says.
When she initially refused to take off her clothes, one of them punched her in the face.
Both men raped her in the back seat, the report says.
Afterward, one man told the other, “Let’s do her,” the report says. The two men started choking the woman, who told police she tried to fight back for several minutes but remembered her body going limp as she passed out.
She woke up near a ditch on the side of a road and hurried to a nearby home to call police, the report says.
A sexual assault examination performed at Woman’s Hospital found evidence of the rape, according to the report. The State Police Crime Laboratory received and tested the rape kit less than a week after the attack.
More than 20 years later, on Nov. 5, State Police informed Baton Rouge authorities that a DNA match had been made. A judge on Jan. 12 signed warrants for the arrests of both men.
Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola said authorities swabbed Causey and Hills for DNA during a previous arrest, but it wasn’t immediately clear when those samples were taken or entered into a state database.
Once Baton Rouge detectives were notified of the match, Coppola said investigators spoke with the victim and worked to build a case against Causey and Hills. During the recent investigation, both suspects were already incarcerated with no immediate possibility of release, Coppola said.
It wasn’t clear Tuesday what contributed to the delay in matches being found.
Hills, who was convicted on two counts of attempted second-degree murder in 2001 and sentenced as a habitual offender to 40 years, is an inmate at Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel. He has not been booked on the rape allegations.
Causey, who was being held in the Ascension Parish jail on unrelated charges when the warrant was issued, was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on Tuesday on counts of first-degree rape and aggravated kidnapping in the 20-year-old case.
Lt. Col. Bobby Webre, of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, said it appeared Causey had been at the jail since June, though it wasn’t immediately clear why he was there.
No bail has been set.
Advocate staff writer Danielle Maddox Kinchen contributed to this report.