17 years later, rape kit helps indict Texas man in Memphis attac - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

17 years later, rape kit helps indict Texas man in Memphis attack

Ronnie Simpson (Source: SCSO) Ronnie Simpson (Source: SCSO)

A man recently indicted in a 1999 rape was extradited from Texas to Memphis.

According to Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich, officers in Texas found Ronnie Simpson, 37, in a homeless shelter. He was booked into the Shelby County jail early Monday on two counts of aggravated rape.

In March 1999, a 28-year-old woman told police she was walking in Orange Mound when a man she knew as Shun hit her in the head with a gun, pulled off her clothes, and raped her.

DNA from the 1999 rape kit was tested in March 2014. Investigators indicted the unidentified male's DNA profile in order to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring. Following further investigation, Ronnie Simpson was indicted in March 2016.

"If he did it, he should pay the price," Orange Mound resident Phyllis Williams said. "I'm a woman and I wouldn't want anything like that to happen to me."

Investigators tracked Simpson to a homeless shelter in Austin, Texas. Simpson was taken into custody on the outstanding rape warrant on April 18.

But many said Simpson should have been off the streets before now.

"They should have gotten this guy a long time ago," Andrea Douglas said.

Douglas, like many residents in Orange Mound, is concerned about the length of time it took to put Simpson behind bars.

"We had to use some creativity and actually indict the DNA profile because we didn't know who raped that woman, but we wanted that statue of limitations to stop ticking so if we ever found out who raped her, we would be able to bring him to justice," Weirich said.

However, Simpson was arrested on burglary and robbery charges in Memphis just two years after the alleged rape.

When asked why SImpson's DNA had not been taken at the time of that arrest, Weirich said it probably was not standard protocol. 

"Back in 2001, it probably was not common practice at the booking stage at the jail to take DNA samples," Weirich said. 

But, Simpson behind bars in Shelby County is added peace for the Orange Mound community and justice for many rape victims.

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