Christopher Aldridge was charged Tuesday with aggravated rape at the Concord District Court, prosecutor Marian Ryan said during an afternoon press conference. A judge ordered him held without bail pending a dangerous hearing, officials said.
A 22-year-old woman called police in June 2013 after she said a man she didn't know approached her at the South Acton, pulled a knife, and raped her. By the time the woman could call 911, the suspect was gone.
Investigators were able to get a viable sample of the accused rapist's DNA during an examination following the assault, but they were unable to find any potential matches for eight years, Ryan said.
Detectives made a breakthrough in the case when they partnered with Parabon NanoLabs in 2021. Researchers linked the DNA to several distant relatives to build a family tree, which led them to Aldridge, Ryan said.
After Aldridge wrecked his car last year in Acton, police collected several items in the crash that belonged to him. The DNA found on them matched the suspect in the 10-year-old rape case, the prosecutor said.
Ryan said she hopes the arrest bolsters the resolve of sexual assault survivors as she pledged to continue her to solve those cases.
"We know the terrible personal violation and the continuing trauma that is experienced by survivors of sexual assault crimes," she said. "We want to give hope to those whose cases have not been resolved. We do not give up on these cases. We are committed to using every tool available to us – not just advances in technology – but creative diligent investigative work to bring these cases to resolution."
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