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Philadelphia Police Use DNA Evidence To Link Suspect To Rape Of 15-Year-Old Girl

(credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

(credit: Philadelphia Police Department)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia Police announced on Tuesday that DNA evidence linked a suspect to two sexual assaults in North Philadelphia, including the brutal rape of a 15-year-old girl in March.

Police say 41-year-old Joseph Woods had a pattern — he would follow women on the Broad Street Line and when they got off the train, he would grab them and brutally rape them.

Lieutenant Anthony McFadden says Woods, who had been released from jail about one year ago, used the method to rape a 15-year-old girl on March 14th near Broad and Allegheny streets. That case went cold, despite a composite sketch. But police say Woods did it again on May 26th.

“She was exiting the Broad Street Line at Lehigh Avenue,” says McFadden. “She was exiting the Broad Street Line where she was.”

Police say SEPTA surveillance video helped identify Woods, who was arrested on June 14th. Police took a DNA sample and ran it through their system.

“That was processed by our Forensic Science Bureau,” McFadden says. “And a perfect match,”

McFadden adds police also found other evidence linking Woods to the March rape, including a briefcase he allegedly carried and the clothes he wore while committing the crime.

Woods was facing sexual assault and robbery charges.

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