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| Crime |

Atlantis Michaelson tied to 1997 sex assault after DNA hit

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Judging by a series of mug shots online, Atlantis Michaelson, age 41, has a thing for changing his appearance -- perhaps in the hope of escaping responsibility for past offenses.

Too bad for him that changing DNA isn't nearly so easy.

Michaelson was recently arrested in Virginia (where he was in prison) in relation to a 1997 sexual assault -- a cold case that warmed up after a DNA sample hit.

On March 29, 1997, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department, a woman was at a restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs when she got into an argument with two girlfriends accompanying her. As emotions came to a boil, she decided to step outside for some fresh air.

She was sitting on a bench when she was approached by a man investigators believe to be Michaelson. He told the woman he'd seen the spat and wanted to make sure she was okay. As the pair of them chatted, she decided she'd tell her friends she was heading home -- but he convinced her not to bother and offered to give her a ride.

Shortly thereafter, they arrived at her apartment -- but when he asked if he could come inside, she turned him down. He responded to this rejection by striking her in the forehead and sexually assaulting her.

Afterward, the victim met with investigators, providing a description that led to a composite sketch. But while the illustration didn't lead to an arrest, a rape kit completed at the time did.

Not that the process was speedy. A DNA match with Michaelson wasn't found until April 2012. The victim subsequently identified him as her attacker by picking out his photo from an array of shots.

Michaelson wasn't able to physically take part in lineup because he was a resident of US Federal Penitentiary Lee in Jonesville, Virginia.

Problem: He was due to be released in December. However, Virginia authorities were able to hold him on unrelated charges out of Florida, from which a pair of mug shots are widely available. Here's the first, a particularly unflattering image found on Mugshots.com....

...and here's another, currently online at a number of sites: The later pic is associated with a burglary arrest.

Michaelson's Colorado Springs connection was first reported way back in October. But it took until June 5 for him to actually be arrested on the local charge. Presumably he'll be heading west before long to face up to what he's accused of having done more than fifteen years ago.

Here's a larger version of Michaelson's latest booking photo.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Ronald Asciutto, Denver firefighter, accused of trying to lure teen on the job."

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