Arrest made in 20-year-old rape case

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office says an arrest has been made in a rape case that is 20 years old.

According to the incident report, a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted in Daytona Beach in 1997.

The report says the teen was with some friends at a wooded area.

It says, “After their vehicle became disabled, an argument broke out among the friends, and as a result, (the victim) was left stranded.”

What happened next is mostly redacted, but investigators say the girl was raped.

The case went cold until deputies say they sent the woman’s rape kit to the lab to get tested in 2016.

“It can be the determining factor of whether someone walks or someone gets behind bars,” said Indhira Acosta, an education coordinator with the Victim Service Center of Central Florida.

Florida and other states across the country have been working to test sexual assault kits that were never sent to the lab.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says out of 8,600 back-logged kits, 2,156 have been tested to date.

Some, like the Volusia County case, are leading to arrests decades later.

“I would say for some it definitely helps bring closure,” Acosta said. “It’s a way for someone to know that this individual is off the streets, so it brings about a sense of safety and a sense of it being resolved, if you will.”
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office has not released the name of the suspect, but they say he was arrested out of state.

Investigators tell Fox 35 that they will release more details about him and the circumstances surrounding his arrest Tuesday.