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City police say DNA links man to '08 rape case







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Suspect, now in federal prison, has a child with alleged victim

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- DNA and other evidence in a 2008 rape case have led city police to a federal inmate held in North Carolina on drug charges, according to authorities.

A grand jury in Winchester Circuit Court indicted Joel Chaparro on Tuesday in the rape of an adult female less than a month after a judge granted his release on bond in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Judge John Wetsel Jr. issued a bench warrant for Chaparro's arrest.

A conviction of rape carries a term of five years to life in a state penitentiary.

Chaparro, 39, formerly of the Martinsburg area, is incarcerated in a U.S. correctional facility in Winton, N.C., serving a 33-month term for two counts of aiding and abetting in the distribution of cocaine hydrochloride in West Virginia in September 2007.

Authorities allege Chaparro raped a woman at an apartment complex on Franklin Street at approximately 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 29, 2008. Winchester police Sgt. Frank Myrtle said Wednesday that the alleged victim went to the hospital for treatment but suffered no other injuries. The alleged victim and Chaparro have a child together, according to Myrtle.

Police investigators working on the case had a hard time tracking down Chaparro.

"The date the incident was reported [Chaparro] was identified as a suspect," Myrtle said. "However we were unable to find him to interview him, and basically he then went into custody of the feds, was transported down to North Carolina."

"We had to get a known DNA sample from [Chaparro] and then basically to compare with some evidence collected at the scene," Myrtle said Wednesday. "We were unable to get down to North Carolina."

New evidence subsequently developed in the case that led police to seek the indictment against Chaparro, according to Myrtle.

It was not immediately known when Chaparro would be transported from North Carolina to Winchester to appear on the charge.

Online records with the U.S. District Court in West Virginia show a grand jury indicted Chaparro on Jan. 22, 2008, on three counts of aiding and abetting in the distribution of cocaine hydrochloride. U.S. Magistrate Judge David J. Joel granted Chaparro's release on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond nine days later, according to online records for the federal court in Martinsburg. Chaparro lived in the Martinsburg area at the time, records indicate.

Chaparro also faces possible deportation, according to online court records. The judge ordered Chaparro, as a special condition of his supervised release from incarceration, to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and to surrender himself to officials with the agency for deportation.




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