DNA test helps TPD make arrest in rape case

Jan. 23, 2013 @ 12:08 PM

Thomasville Police Department arrested a convicted sex offender on Tuesday after DNA testing linked the Chair City man to a pair of sexual assaults.
According to a TPD press release, detectives charged Ramon Lamont Johnson, 37, of 716 E. Guilford St., with two counts of first degree burglary, two counts of first degree rape, two counts of first degree kidnapping, one count of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury following an investigation into two sexual assaults last spring.
DNA evidence collected from the scene of a 2012 sexual assault in Greensboro and samples from TPD's investigation matched Johnson, Detective Steve Currie said. Greensboro Police Department, with help from the Davidson County Sheriff's Office, arrested Johnson last July and charged him with second degree forcible rape, second degree sexual assault, attempted second degree sexual offense and second degree kidnapping.
"We had one victim who was the victim of two assaults," said Currie. "He had no relationship to her. I can't go into any more details than that. The assaults occurred in March and April. He actually broke into the house to commit these assaults."
TPD's investigation into two separate rapes at a Leonard Street residence began in spring, 2012, when a female victim reported the same suspect sexually assaulted her at her residence. The victim said the suspect used a weapon during both assaults. In late July, 2012, Currie said he saw Johnson, a registered sex offender, on the news after his Greensboro arrest and identified him as a possible suspect.
"He matched a very similar general description of our suspect," Currie said. "I went over the case reports with Greensboro detectives and could not rule him out. We requested the State Bureau of Investigation compare his DNA makeup to evidence we collected. We ended up finding a match.
"One of our jobs is to watch the news and see what else is going on in the areas around us. It's a small world we live in and unfortunately crime is not static. It travels."
Johnson was released on parole on Aug. 1, 2011, after being convicted in Davidson County of attempted second degree rape and attempted second degree sex offense, according to the Department of Corrections. Johnson was sentenced to a maximum six years and seven months in prison on May 13, 2002, following his arrest on Dec. 4, 2001.
"Shortly after he was released from prison, it looks like the same types of activities just started back up," said Currie. "Even though we were fairly confident Johnson was going to be our suspect, we held off because he already was in custody on the Greensboro charges. We waited until we got the DNA results from the [SBI]. It could’ve taken longer but the District Attorney's Office sent a rush request to the SBI based upon the seriousness of the situation and all the events surrounding the case."
Johnson was issued a $500,000 secured bond.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call TPD at 475-4267 or Crime Stoppers of Thomasville at 476-8477.

Staff Writer Eliot Duke can be reached at 888-3578, or duke@tvilletimes.com.