We recently told you about the role DNA played in the arrest and subsequent guilty plea of Alfred Flores in a 2011 head-shot murder. Turns out DNA also proved key in an even older crime: a 2001 sex assault for which Eddie Simon was busted more than a dozen years later.
Now, a jury has found Simon guilty, and he could face a sentence up to life in prison. Continue for the details, including photos and his complete arrest report.
Just past 4 a.m. on February 24, 2001, as we reported in our original March 2013 post, Denver police officers were dispatched to a home on Niagara Street. There, a twenty year old one told them about the cruel crime that had been committed against her.
The woman said that she'd been leaving her parents' house on St. Paul Street early that morning when an African-American male driving a cream-colored SUV had backed up next to her. The driver then opened the door and pulled her inside the vehicle, using a knife as persuasion. He held the blade to the back of her neck and drove her into the area of the old Lowry Air Force Base.
When the man parked his truck near some abandoned buildings, he roused the suspicion of a security officer. The driver insisted that the two of them had simply been talking, then drove away, winding up in the vicinity of Niagra Street. There, he forcibly removed the victim's clothing and raped her while holding the knife in his right hand.
The woman tried to honk the vehicle's horn in an attempt to alert those in the vicinity to what was happening. The man responded by hitting her in the mouth, pulling her hair and trying to choke her. He also ordered her not to look at him -- an edict he enforced by punching her in the eye.
When he was finished, the man tossed the woman's clothes out the window before expelling her and driving away -- at which point the woman, still naked from the waist down, ran to the house to which police were called.
Afterward, medical personnel used a rape kit in examining the woman. She also spoke with investigators, providing a description of the man that was used as the basis of a suspect sketch. But no one was ever arrested in the incident.
A dozen years later, Simon came to the attention of police not once but twice; he was arrested on January 25 and February 28 for what the Denver DA's office describes as drug charges. As a result, a DNA sample was taken, and earlier this month, it scored a match with the rape kit in the 2001 case.
Police subsequently did a motor-vehicle search and determined that at the time of the 2001 crime, Simon owned a Grand Wagoneer similar to the type of vehicle described by the woman. And while the victim wasn't able to pick Simon out of a lineup -- it's been twelve years, after all, and she'd been instructed not to look at her attacker -- this fact, coupled with the DNA, was more than enough to convince prosecutors that Simon deserved some more criminal charges.
The original charges against Simon included two sexual assault counts plus third-degree assault and second-degree kidnapping. Last week, however, a jury found him guilty of just the two sex-assault allegations -- although that's more than enough to put Simon away for a long time. On June 16, he'll learn his fate, and the range is wide: The DA's office describes the sentence as "indeterminate-to-life."
Here's a larger look at Simon's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit.
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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Alfred Flores's chewing gum leads to bust for head-shot murder of Manuel Martinez."