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Trial Ordered for Fla. Man In Philadelphia Teen Murder Cold Case

(Rafael Crespo.  Photo from Phila. PD)

(Rafael Crespo. Photo from Phila. PD)

Hanson_Tony--NEW Tony Hanson
Tony Hanson has spent his entire illustrious career at KYW Newsradio,...
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By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a crime that had remained unsolved for nearly 17 years.

But with a DNA hit and some other evidence (see related story), a 41-year-old Florida man was today ordered held for trial for the rape and murder of a Philadelphia teen.

Seventeen-year-old Anjeanette Maldonado was murdered on her way to school in September of 1996, and the crime remained unsolved until a DNA hit last year.

Former Philadelphia homicide detective Jack McDermott, now working for the state, has testified that defendant Rafael Crespo, serving time for another sexual assault on a minor in Florida, admitted having sex with and strangling Maldonado after being confronted with the DNA evidence.  But he says it was all consensual.

“His statement is basically trying to mislead police,” says Philadelphia prosecutor Carlos Vega, “although he admits to having sex and his DNA is there.  But what is telling is that he says, ‘I wish I was wearing a condom because I wouldn’t be here now.’ “

Maldonado’s body was found two days later, inside an abandoned property.