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DNA catches up to convicted rapist

A Spokane man was sentenced essentially to time served Friday for a sexual assault in 1999 that remained unsolved until DNA caught up to him.

Originally charged with second-degree rape, prosecutors agreed to allow Robert C. Graham – who was convicted in 2000 of third-degree rape in a different case – to plead guilty to second-degree assault with sexual motivation. Superior Court judge Maryann Moreno sentenced Graham, 31, to 17 months in prison; with credit for time served he faces little prison time.

Deputy Prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald said the victim was first elated to know her attacker had been caught. But processing the case brought back horrific memories that she no longer wanted to face. Thus, she asked that no trial take place.

Although he’s already a registered sex offender, Graham must register for 15 years under the latest conviction. Graham apologized, saying he had no memory of the event because of his alcohol abuse. “I never meant to hurt anybody.”

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