Portland police had suspect name, sex assault kit in 2011, but it took 5 years to test evidence

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Portland police had a name of a suspect and evidence from a sexual assault kit after a 19-year-old woman reported being raped in the city's downtown in 2011.
But police didn't pursue the case or submit the evidence to a crime lab until five years later, according to court papers. 
Once that happened last year, DNA from the kit matched the profile of a registered sex offender, according to court records.
Clint Curtis Williams was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday afternoon, accused of first-degree rape, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and two counts of first-degree sodomy in connection with the Sept. 30, 2011, assault.
Williams has an earlier rape conviction and is listed as homeless. His bail has been set at $2 million.
The sexual assault kit was among nearly 3,000 untested kits that Multnomah, Marion and Lane counties sent to a private lab in Utah, starting last April, after receiving grant money to address their stockpile of untested evidence.
In the 2011 case, Portland police were called to a report of a sexual assault in downtown Portland. The 19-year-old alleged victim said she was attacked by a man she had met that night. She gave an officer the suspect's first name as "Curtis,'' a phone number written on a piece of paper and the address where he lived, according to Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt. 
Portland police quickly identified the suspect as Williams that night, but didn't make an arrest or submit the sex assault kit for testing, court documents indicate. They haven't explained why.
The 19-year-old told police that the man approached her while she was standing near a TriMet ticket machine, complimented her and asked if she'd ride the MAX train with him toward Lloyd Center. They rode the train across the Willamette River to a park and then returned downtown, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The man insisted that the young woman come with him to his house. He walked her to his place at the Alder Hotel at 415 S.W. Alder St. He closed the door and ordered her to sit down and remove her clothes, Girt wrote in the affidavit.
She was scared and said "no,'' but he threatened that "if you don't do what I say, I'm going to do worse,'' the affidavit said.
He removed her shirt, unbuttoned her pants and forced himself on her, the affidavit said. The 19-year-old protested and tried to get away by claiming she had to use the bathroom, but he wouldn't let her go and told her to "shut up,'' Girt wrote.
Crying and scared, the young woman again told the man she needed to use the bathroom. He handed her a dish to urinate in because there was no bathroom in his room, the affidavit said. 
He wouldn't let her leave until she swore on the Bible that she wouldn't tell anyone what occurred, according to Girt.
When she left, she wrote down the address, walked out of the building and called police. She was examined at OHSU Hospital, and a sexual assault examination was conducted, with multiple evidence swabs obtained, Girt wrote.
The kit was sent last year to Sorenson Forensics LLC, a private lab in Salt Lake City. The court documents said DNA matched Williams' DNA profile, which was in a state database from a felony arrest. He had a first-degree rape conviction in 1986 and multiple parole violations. Earlier this year, he was accused of failing to register as a sex offender.
The Utah lab is screening the stockpile of kits for male DNA profiles and conducting other biological testing as needed, then uploading its findings into a secure web-based program. The Oregon State Police crime lab, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office and the police agencies involved have access to the data. The state crime lab then conducts a full technical review and uploads DNA profile information into a national database.
Portland police left thousands of sexual assault kits untended on storeroom shelves that they admitted in 2015 could have helped solve at least 500 sex crimes over the last decade. The untested kits stacked up despite public promises by police leaders to eliminate the stockpile after a serial rapist killed 14-year-old Melissa Bittler on her way to school in 2001. 
In Bittler's case, sexual assault kits from at least two other young teens raped by the girl's killer four years earlier sat untested until detectives investigating Bittler's death submitted them to a lab.
The governor last year signed into law Melissa's Bill named after Bittler. It directs police agencies across Oregon and state police to adopt rules for collection, submission for testing and retention of the kits. All kits must be stored for 60 years.

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