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Police say DNA left at scene key to Decatur rape arrest

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com · 340-2355

A man linked to the daytime rape of a woman in a Northwest Decatur alleyway turned himself in Thursday, police said.

The 37-year-old Decatur woman couldn't identify her attacker following the September 2006 assault, but DNA the man left behind allowed police to put a name to him, said Sgt. Terry White of the Decatur police Special Victims Unit.

Police arrested Craig Steven Bailey, 40, who gave them a Birmingham address, shortly after 11 a.m. Bailey went to the police department after learning a Morgan County grand jury had indicted him on a charge of first-degree rape, White said.

The victim "was taken to Decatur General Hospital, where she was treated and a rape kit was administered," White said. "The rape kit was taken to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science and they received a hit from CODIS."

According to the FBI, CODIS, the Combined DNA Index System, allows federal, state and local crime labs to exchange DNA profiles electronically.

Alabama takes DNA samples from all convicted felons, not just sex offenders.

Bailey, who is not a convicted sex offender, was in the system, White said.

"The Department of Forensic Sciences contacted us and told us they had received a match," White said. "It indicated Craig Steven Bailey's DNA was found in the kit."

A second DNA sample taken from Bailey confirmed the first match, White said.

White said examination of the woman also revealed injuries consistent with her story.

Although “at the time it occurred, the victim was unable to identify her attacker,” it later turned out he was an acquaintance, White said.

“It was not a stranger-rape type of situation. The guy with the hood, waiting for someone to come around the corner — that’s not this case,” he said.

Bailey remained in Morgan County Jail late Thursday in lieu of $20,000 bond.

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