CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A break has been made in a cold case that has baffled law officers and the justice system for more than a dozen years -- the aggravated sexual assault of a Corpus Christi woman that happened back in 2007.
On Wednesday, there was finally justice for the victim thanks to DNA evidence.
"She came all the way down from Nevada today to get justice for a crime that occurred so long ago," Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez said.
It was back on April 6, 2007, when the then unknown assailant made his way into a home in the 4000 block of Wagner Lee Drive in Flour Bluff. According to the affidavit of complaint, the victim said the assailant "probably gained entry through the back door that had been left unlocked."
The affidavit states the assailant then "placed a knife to her throat and sexually assaulted her...threatening to kill her and her children."
The suspect left behind DNA evidence, which was entered into a nationwide database, but it would be 12 years before law enforcement got a break.
"A year ago we got a notification, and since then CCPD partnered with agencies in Florida, with their detectives," Gonzalez said.
Thanks to their collaboration and the DNA evidence, they were able to find an exact match. 43-year-old Jerral David Martin was already in a Florida prison serving a life term without parole for committing the same type of crime there.
"Once he was sentenced, then his DNA was entered into this CODIS system, and then that hit a positive all the way down here in Nueces County, in Texas," Gonzalez said.
During proceedings Wednesday in the 28th District Court, the victim said she is still traumatized.
"It's hard for her to trust anyone. It's hard for her to sleep at night. When it's dark, she has issues," Gonzalez said. "So you know, 12 years later this crime still affects its victims, as it does all victims in these cases, and so it's very important that we got justice for her today."
The defendant made one statement to the victim: "In prison I have learned about the ripple effect of such crimes that I have caused her. That many people are affected. I apologize. I'm sorry for what I have done and what I have caused."
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