HOUSTON (KIAH) — A Louisiana man who was staying in Houston in 2006 has been sentenced to 56 years in prison for abducting and raping a 14-year-old in a case solved by DNA through testing the Houston Police Department rape kits, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Saturday.
Prosecutors said Antoine Newton, 42, was 26 years old when he and another man used a car to chase down a teenage girl as she was walking home around dusk on April 8, 2006. The two men saw the teen and began to catcall and harass her as she walked along Fondren in southwest Houston.
They stopped the car near the girl, trapping her between the car and a building, and got out of the car, blocking her escape, prosecutors said. One of the men, who has yet to be identified, punched the teen in the face, knocking her out. She woke up the next morning, with no clothes and feeling drugged, in an abandoned apartment.
She found her clothes, went home and was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital to have a rape kit performed that collected samples of hair and DNA. That rape kit was put on the shelf and became part of the well-known Houston Police Department backlog of rape kits. It was eventually tested and the results were entered into a national database in 2014.
“This attack, a horrific example of stranger danger, was compounded when we had a backlog of rape kits waiting to be tested,” Ogg said. “This victim waited long enough, but now she has gotten justice.”
Two years later, in 2016, there was a match in Louisiana, where Newton was convicted for his role in a murder and had to submit a DNA sample.
Prosecutors said that when the victim saw a photo lineup that included Newton, she recognized him as one of the men from the car in 2006. After Newton was arrested for the rape in 2016, he bonded out and was arrested and convicted in San Antonio for shooting at someone.
A jury hearing all of the evidence over a two-day span earlier this week convicted Newton of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and a judge sentenced him.
“This was obviously a nightmare for the victim, and it is every parent’s worst nightmare,” said assistant district attorney Anthony Osso, who praised the jury’s verdict and the judge’s sentence. “When Antoine Newton is on the street, people get shot at, murdered and raped. That’s what his record showed.”