A prisoner serving time for drug and assault convictions now faces a rape charge after police say his DNA matched physical evidence taken from the victim nearly 15 years ago.
Police say 39-year-old Miguel Hernandez, currently an inmate at the Jenkins County Correctional Center, raped a Cobb County woman on March 3, 1998 at a residence in Smyrna. The woman was 19 at the time.
“He was a family acquaintance but nobody had any identifying information or location information,” said Smyrna police spokesman Michael Smith. “No one knew him very well.”
Hernandez remained free until his incarceration last June on unrelated charges. A sample of Hernandez’s DNA was taken, as is done with every Georgia inmate, and a few months later Smyrna detectives were notified of a possible match with the evidence collected from a sexual assault examination of the victim.
On Tuesday, that match was confirmed, Smith said. Police then obtained an arrest warrant charging Hernandez with rape.
The statute of limitations for rape is 15 years. When DNA evidence is present, however, Georgia law waives the time threshold, Smith said.
Hernandez was scheduled to be released from prison on the aggravated assault and cocaine convictions no later than April 13.
After a rough week in Washington, President Barack Obama came to rainy Atlanta on Sunday to be with a friendlier crowd, becoming the first sitting president to give the commencement address at Morehouse College.