Newly retested DNA evidence from more than two decades ago led deputies to arrest a Clearwater man Wednesday in connection with a 1999 sexual battery, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Gregory Thompson, 59, faces a charge of sexual battery with a deadly weapon, court records show.
On Nov. 15, 1999, deputies said, a 30-year-old woman left her Dunedin home for a short while. The door was unlocked. A man with a knife slipped inside the house while she was gone, deputies said, and when she returned, he attacked her.
The man threatened her with a knife, deputies said, and she complied with his orders out of fear. He sexually battered her. Afterward, he ordered the victim to shower “to destroy the evidence,” deputies said Wednesday, but she locked herself in the bathroom and started screaming.
The man fled, and the woman hid in the bathroom until she believed it was safe to call 911. Deputies collected evidence but didn’t make an arrest, and the case went cold.
Last year, deputies said, the agency re-submitted DNA evidence from 1999 to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Using national and state databases, deputies said, the state matched the sample to Thompson’s DNA, which was collected after a previous conviction.
In 2005, court records show, Thompson pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, aggravated stalking of a child and voyeurism. He was sentenced to two years of house arrest and 10 years of probation.
Deputies arrested Thompson at his home Wendesday morning. They said he denied the allegations. He remains in the Pinellas County jail. No bond is listed in jail records, and court records do not list an attorney for him.