Roshard Cole – Repeat Sex Offender – Busted by DNA

State Police say an unexpected DNA hit solved a six-year-old cold case in Petersburg. Samuel Roshard Cole, 31, is charged him with rape, sodomy, abduction by force and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Cole will be arraigned today in General District Court.

A series of events and cooperative information sharing among multiple police agencies, an alert Petersburg Sheriff’s Office magistrate, the Sex Offender Registry, Department of Forensic Science and the DNA match led to Cole’s arrest, according to State Police.

Back in April, Cole, a resident Hopewell, had to appear before a Petersburg magistrate for a bond hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Looking at Cole’s criminal record, the magistrate suspected that he might be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Cole didn’t only have a history of convictions for possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and driving while drinking with an open container. In 1996, he was convicted on two accounts of sexual battery, but had never registered as a sex offender.

Recent legislation in Virginia requires all registered sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Cole provided his sample in May.

State Police then forwarded the sample to DFS for analysis. Last month, Petersburg police were notified of a match between evidence from the 2002 crime scene and Cole’s DNA. Petersburg investigators had investigated the crime for more than a year after it happened, but had exhausted all possible leads.

When officers received the positive match, authorities were already looking for Cole because of forgery charges. Cole was finally arrested last week during a traffic stop. He is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

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