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Police: DNA links man to 1999 armed sexual assault

ST. PETERSBURG — Police used DNA evidence this week to charge a man with breaking into a St. Petersburg home in 1999 and sexually assaulting a woman at gunpoint.

William Jermaine Watson, 28, who is serving 17 years in state prison for vehicular homicide, faces a charge of armed sexual assault.

He will be returned to Pinellas County to be tried and could face life in prison because of his criminal record, police spokesman Mike Puetz said.

Watson had to submit a DNA sample after he was convicted of vehicular homicide in 2008. In 2009, his DNA was matched to DNA recovered from the sexual assault. Detectives interviewed him at Calhoun Correctional Institute, but he denied any involvement in the crime.

At 1:30 a.m. Sept. 9, 1999, police said, two masked men broke into a St. Petersburg home through a window.

The men woke a 26-year-old woman and her 31-year-old boyfriend, and ordered both to disrobe at gunpoint.

One man sexually assaulted the woman while the other forced the boyfriend to watch.

The second man then sexually assaulted the woman and escorted the boyfriend out of the room to search for valuables.

DNA led to a sexual battery conviction against Jermaine Cummings, 29. He is serving 15 years at the Jackson Correctional Institute, according to police.

Police: DNA links man to 1999 armed sexual assault 07/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 9:55pm]
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