Sheriff: DNA leads to arrest of man suspected of raping woman in - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff: DNA leads to arrest of man suspected of raping woman in 2000 convenience store robbery

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Robert Threadgill (Source: SCSO) Robert Threadgill (Source: SCSO)

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said Thursday that a suspect has been arrested in a 17-year-old kidnapping and sex crime.

Robert Threadgill, 37, of Charlie drive in Cowpens was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal sexual conduct first degree, kidnapping, armed robbery, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Wright said Threadgill was charged in a case from April 2000 in which a convenience store clerk was robbed and raped.

Wright said the suspect wore a mask and tried to get the victim to open the safe. She was unable to and was ultimately raped.

"It was horrible, just horrible," Wright said of the crime.

According to arrest warrants, the assault and robbery happened at  a store on Battleground Road on Apr. 27, 2000.

Incident reports state the suspect approached the victim from behind as she was putting something in her car and pointed a gun at her. The suspect demanded she access the safe and when she said she was unable to do so, the victim said the suspect forced her to go into the bathroom and undress. The suspect then forced the victim to perform a sex act on him before pushing her to the floor and raping her.

A customer entered the store during the assault looking to purchase a soft drink. The reports state the suspect, wearing a ski mask, pointed the gun at the customer and told him to leave and not call police.

The customer called 911 via cell phone after fleeing the store.

The suspect knocked over the cash register and fled with a cash box containing about $60, reports state.

The victim was taken to the hospital where doctors utilized a rape kit to collect any possible DNA evidence from the assault.

Wright said DNA collected when Threadgill was arrested in Newberry County for harassment in October matched DNA collected in 2000.

Wright said the arrest is an answered prayer.

“We pray about a lot of things. We pray about unsolved crimes," Wright said. "If you’re hearing or reading this and you know something about a crime, I hope this touches your heart and come forward.”

A SLED background check revealed Threadgill had multiple arrests for criminal domestic violence, neglect of a child or helpless person, stalking, receiving stolen goods, and more.

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