A jury in state district court has found a 43-year-old man guilty of aggravated rape in a 1997 cold case.
Lorenzo D. Watson, who represented himself, was convicted this week before Judge Sharon Wilson.
“It feels good to be able to give the victim justice after all these years,” Prosecutor Elliott Cassidy said. “We are glad we were able to get this violent criminal permanently off the streets.”
The victim was “violently raped in her home” on Jan. 10, 1997, prosecutors said.
She told authorities at the time that an unknown person broke into her home, tied her hands behind her back and raped her at knife point.
The victim reported the crime but the suspect remained unknown for more than 20 years.
Lake Charles Police Capt. Kevin Kirkum and Sgt. Garrett Graham investigated the case.
In 2017, while investigating cold cases with viable DNA, officers with the police department reached out to the victim to see if they could retest the DNA associated with her case.
With the victim’s consent, the DNA was run through the CODIS database and there was a match to the defendant.
Sentencing for Watson is set for Sept. 26.
The crime of aggravated rape carries a mandatory life sentence without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. a