A convicted sex offender has been charged with attempting to murder and rape a woman in Barre more than a year ago. Authorities say DNA evidence played a part in identifying the suspect in this vicious crime which is very similar to a sex crime that sent him to prison 16 years ago.
Police say they had little to go on after a 50-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and her throat slashed in her Barre apartment in March 2008.
The victim said the attacker was a slender African-American wearing a dark sweatshirt and hoodie but she had never seen him before.
But Wednesday, after 16 months of investigation, police say they have enough evidence to charge Ed McAdoo Johnson, 48, with the crime.
“At the time he was identified by people in the area, so he was a suspect from the beginning,” Washington County Prosecutor Tom Kelly said.
Police say Johnson was the victim’s neighbor and knew who she was through an ex-girlfriend. Police say the case got stronger when Johnson lied to them and others about his whereabouts at the time of the crime, tried to get others to provide an alibi for him, and was seen minutes before and after the crime near the apartment. Then when saliva samples on the victim produced DNA evidence– Johnson was charged.
“Evidence,” Kelly said. “Mitochondrial DNA. Three labs have examined two pieces of evidence and have not excluded Mr. Johnson.”
Police did not have to go far to arrest Johnson. He was already in prison facing charges that he exposed himself in public several times.
It’s all part of a 30-page crime record that could bring Johnson a life sentence as an habitual offender if he is convicted of the new charges.
Johnson was ordered held on $200,000 bail on all the pending charges.
Johnson’s record shows that when the woman was attacked in Barre he had been out of prison only eight months after serving 13 years for kidnapping a woman he had never met off a street in Montpelier and holding a knife to her throat during an attempted sexual assault. If he goes to trial on these new charges it is possible prosecutors would be permitted to tell the jury about that case because it is so similar to the new one.