BELOIT

The testing of an old rape kit has led to charges against a man in the sexual assault of 13-year-old girl nearly 18 years ago, the state Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Jason A. Smith, 41, now of the Waupun Correctional Institution, has been charged in Rock County Court with two counts of sexual assault of a child while armed, according to a news release.

The case arose from the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative and an investigation by the Beloit Police Department and the state Division of Criminal Investigation, according to a news release.

The criminal complaint says Smith accosted the girl while she was walking the night of July 18, 2000, in Beloit, showing her a revolver and saying he would kill her if she did not do what he said.

He continued to threaten her as he forced her into sexual acts in a secluded area near Fourth and North streets, according to the complaint.

The state notified Beloit police in March, nearly 18 years later, of a DNA match between the rape kit and a suspect, according to the complaint.

The sexual assault kit initiative is a statewide effort to address the decades-long accumulation of previously unsubmitted sexual-assault kits that were in the possession of local law enforcement agencies and hospitals, according to the release.

Smith is serving a 50-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2005 for sexual assaults in the city of Beloit and town of Beloit, Beloit police said on their Facebook page.

The Department of Justice is prosecuting the case at the request of the Rock County District Attorney’s Office, according to the news release. A department spokeswoman said the department could not comment on why the testing was delayed for so long because the department is prosecuting the case.

The department explains a variety of reasons for such delays on its website, wisaki.doj.wi.gov, including decisions by police or a district attorney not to pursue a case.

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