News

Man Convicted In 13-Year-Old Rape Case In Atlanta, After Sexual Assault Kit Is Finally Tested

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. announced the conviction last week of Dana Sterling, 54, of Atlanta, in connection with the 2007 assault of a 31-year-old woman. Her sexual assault kit was taken to the Atlanta Police Department, but it wasn't tested until the state enacted a 2016 law requiring untested rape kits to be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. announced the conviction last week of Dana Sterling, 54, of Atlanta, in connection with the 2007 assault of a 31-year-old woman. Her sexual assault kit was taken to the Atlanta Police Department, but it wasn't tested until the state enacted a 2016 law requiring untested rape kits to be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Credit Pixabay Images
'Add to My List' icon 'Added to My List' icon Add to My List In My List

A 2007 rape case in Atlanta has been closed after a sexual assault kit was finally tested, authorities said.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul L. Howard Jr. announced the conviction last week of Dana Sterling, 54, of Atlanta, in connection with the assault of a 31-year-old woman who was walking along an Atlanta street when he approached her.

Sterling was convicted of rape, aggravated sodomy, terroristic threats, kidnapping and aggravated assault, Howard’s office said in a news release. Sentencing is set for March 9.

Howard said that Sterling on May 16, 2007, grabbed the woman from behind, placed her in a chokehold and dragged her into some bushes. Sterling was accused of raping the woman, punching her with closed fists and threatening to kill her if she didn’t cooperate. He then dragged her to a nearby church, raped her again and beat her with a chain before fleeing, according to authorities. The woman was left naked outside the church. A passerby spotted her and called police, the news release said.

The victim’s injuries were so severe she couldn’t speak clearly and was unable to identify her attacker, Howard said.

Her sexual assault kit was taken to the Atlanta Police Department but it wasn’t tested until the state enacted a 2016 law requiring law enforcement to submit previously untested rape kits to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for examination.

That examination determined that Sterling was a DNA match, and he was later arrested.