April 1, 2010 in City

DNA triggers arrest in 1999 rape case

By The Spokesman-Review
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Read more on this story at the Sirens and Gavels blog

A suspect was arrested this week in a rape that’s been unsolved for more than 10 years.

Robert C. Graham Jr., 30, appeared in Superior Court on Wednesday via video from the jail, where he’s been since his arrest on Tuesday.

He’s accused of raping a woman on Sept. 6, 1999, as she walked to work on Market Street about 4:10 a.m. The woman described her attacker as a young man she’d never seen before with “straight brown hair and pointy nose,” according to court documents.

Last fall, the Washington State Crime Lab matched DNA evidence from the crime with Graham’s DNA, which had only recently been obtained, said Spokane police Detective Harlen Harden.

Graham, a level 1 sex offender, was convicted of third-degree rape involving a 15-year-old victim in 2000. He has lived in the Deer Park and Colfax areas all his life and has been employed at a construction company for about a year, his public defender said.

His bond was set Wednesday at $25,000 for one count of second-degree rape.

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