SPOTSYLVANIA, Va. — Authorities charged a Spotsylvania man with sexual assault of a minor after they said his DNA was identified in the testing of Virginia’s rape kit backlog. This is a major update to a WUSA9 investigation into untested rape kits in Virginia, where evidence from thousands of rape kits was never sent for DNA testing. Now, one of those kits is leading to a criminal case.
26-year-old Dyron R. Williams Sr. sits in a Virginia jail, charged with the sexual assault of a minor. According to the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office, the victim was 14-years-old at the time and did not know Williams. The official charge is having carnal knowledge of a child between 13 and 15 years of age.
"This is really, really significant because it just illustrates how important it is for every kit to be tested," Attorney General Mark Herring said.
Herring began fighting for a federal grant to test the state's backlogged kits in 2014, as officials hoped to bring answers to victims, who in some cases have been waiting for decades.
Evidence collected back in 2012 was finally tested as part of the clearing of Virginia's backlog. The DNA profile from that kit was then uploaded into the national database, and got a hit. Authorities said the match was to Williams.
"I'm really glad to know this effort is paying off, and it just shows why it is so important that every single kit be tested," Herring said.
Major Troy Skebo of the Spotsylvania Sheriff's Office explained the alleged incident happened in a social setting, but investigators are still doing interviews in the case.
Williams has only been charged at this point, and the case still has to go through the court process. It'll start in juvenile and domestic relations court.
Williams is now at the Haynesville Correctional Center in Richmond County. He was already serving time in an unrelated case.
WUSA9 was first to report when scientists completed the first round of testing Virginia’s backlog. 1,770 kits from 2014 and earlier had been examined with 574 kits involving cases in our viewing area. The case involving Williams is one of those kits.
"Maybe there was a time when some of these cases did not get the attention they deserved," Herring said. "Those days are over and Virginia is going to stand with survivors as they pursue justice and help them on a path of healing."
Herring explained there are dozens of other rape kits where they've gotten hits. He anticipates there could be new charges announced in the future.