COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Authorities said a man was arrested and charged in connection with a rape case that occurred in Council Bluffs 10 years ago.
Mark Alan Sands pictured above.
Pottawattamie County prosecutors said a national DNA database called CODIS helped them track and identify Mark Alan Sands, a registered sex offender from a separate case, who they said has been linked to the attack on a mother and her daughter.
The mother said a stranger raped her for hours and tied up her disabled daughter at their home in the eastern part of Council Bluffs.
"Allegations are that there was a mother and a daughter home. The daughter was tied up while the mother was sexually assaulted over a period of some hours," Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said.
Court documents indicated that the attacker grabbed a telephone cord to tie up the daughter by her hands and feet. It said that the man moved the girl from one area of the house to another, so he could keep her in sight. At about noon that day, the mother's boyfriend showed up and forced the attacker away, documents noted.
"It was totally random. None of the victims could make an identification," Wilber said.
Wilber said if there's no identification, there will be no case.
"The case went cold pretty fast," he said.
Several of the clothing items left at the scene by the suspect were processed for DNA matching in 2003, but there was no match. On May 16, authorities discovered their DNA samples matched an entry in the Nebraska portion of the CODIS database.
Authorities said Sands was arrested in August and charged with kidnapping and sexual abuse.
Sands' attorney said his client is innocent.
"He is absolutely innocent. He has filed a not-guilty plea in this case, and it is up to the county attorney to prove that he's guilty at this stage," defense attorney Joe Reedy said.
Reedy said he'll keep challenging the statute of limitations on some of the charges in the case.
As for the alleged victim, who now lives out of state, she said she hopes a possible end to a nightmare inside her old home could bring hope for other victims.
"With DNA and all the computers and stuff that we have nowadays, they are going to get caught," the victim said in a phone interview. "They are, and justice will be served."
KETV New Article: http://www.ketv.com/news/29598497/de...#ixzz1bzXZm4dj
Sex Offender Registry Profile: http://www.homefacts.com/offender-de...lan-Sands.html