Man convicted in 1999 kidnapping, rape of woman in Warsaw
WARSAW, Ind. (WNDU) - A California man has been convicted in the Kosciusko County Superior Court in a 22-year-old kidnapping and rape case.
Rodriguez Todd, 53, of La Mesa, Calif., was convicted after a three-day jury trial for kidnapping and raping a Logansport woman on Nov. 23, 1999, in Warsaw.
At the trial, the victim testified that she was kidnapped by a man that night between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. at a Shell gas station which, at the time, was located at the corner of Center Street and Detroit Street while she was traveling from Logansport to Ligonier to visit her father who was gravely ill.
Upon reaching Warsaw, the victim had to pull alongside the gas station to check her transmission fluid. That’s when she said the man walked up to her, displayed a knife, and said “Let’s take a ride.”
The victim said the man forced her into her car and took her to a wooded area, where he raped her twice. After the man left, she drove home to Logansport to notify her husband and sister-in-law. Police then advised her to get examined at the hospital.
A sexual assault kit was collected, but it was later determined that DNA profile generated by the lab did not match the DNA of the possible suspect. The case remained a cold case until 2019.
On April 10, 2019, forensic scientists discovered a match between Todd and a portion of the DNA entered earlier in the investigation. A search warrant was served for Todd, who was in San Diego, Calif.
During a 55-minute interview with the San Diego Police Department, Todd admitted that he lived in Kentucky and Tennessee prior to moving to South Bend in 1999. While in South Bend, Todd admitted that he had been a probation officer with the St. Joseph County Probation Department and had several “one-night stands” during that time but couldn’t remember any names. Todd also stated that he often had sex in a car, usually in the woods or a secluded place.
The Indiana State Police Lab then compared the suspect standards from the San Diego Police Department with the DNA from the rape kit and found the DNA profile to be at least one trillion times more likely if it originated from the victim and Todd than if it originated from the victim and an unknown person. This statistical analysis provided very strong support for the inclusion of Todd.
Following Todd’s appearance in this case at a pretrial hearing in the Kosciusko Superior Court, Todd submitted to a court ordered submission of suspect standards, which were compared to the DNA from the rape kit. Again, the statistical analysis provided very strong support for the inclusion of Todd.
After an hour and a half of deliberation, the jury convicted Todd of rape and kidnapping, which are both Class A felonies. He’s been lodged at the Kosciusko County Jail, where he awaits his sentencing on Oct. 18. He faces 20-100 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Full Press Release from the Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office:
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