Solved! DNA evidence leads to rape conviction after 19 years

Cold justice: Bushwick resident Johnny Jacob was convicted of first-degree rape after DNA evidence linked him to a brutal sexual assault from 1998.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

Investigators closed the case on a 19-year-old rape that occurred in Park Slope thanks to newly acquired DNA evidence, which swayed a jury in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Monday to convict Bushwick resident Johnny Jacob, 45, of the heinous sexual assault.

The cold-case conviction came thanks to evidence Jacob’s victim submitted immediately following her brutal rape in 1998, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who applauded the woman’s courage in reporting and aiding investigators in solving the nearly two-decade-old crime.

“This case once again underscores the importance of DNA evidence in proving guilt or innocence,” Gonzalez said. “I’d also like to commend the victim for having the courage to testify at trial and bring this defendant to justice.”

Jacobs pulled a gun on his then-19-year-old victim outside the Ninth Street Subway Station near Fourth Avenue at 9 am on March 2, 1998, after the woman departed an M-train on what was to be her first day of work, according to the district attorney.

The gunman ordered the young woman back into the station and raped her on the platform, before dragging her back onto the street, where he threatened to kill her if she reported the attack, Gonzalez said.

The woman immediately fled to work and an employer called 911 on her behalf. She was treated at Lutheran Hospital, where investigators recorded her attacker’s DNA, which was preserved by the medical examiner’s office, according to a spokesman for the district attorney.

The case grew stale over the years, until the Federal Bureau of Investigation picked up Jacob on a money-laundering rap in 2007 and ran his DNA through a national database.

Jacobs was charged with the rape in 2013, after the system matched Jacob’s DNA with evidence from the 15-year-old assault.

The Supreme Court jury found Jacob guilty of first-degree rape, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 2.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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