Madison: Police are saying a confessed rapist is not responsible for a third sexual assault. The same DNA evidence that linked Antonio Pope to a pair of downtown rapes has cleared him of another.
By the time Antonio Pope was arrested last Friday area police department's were investigating three different sexual assaults and a fourth attempted sexual assault.
DNA evidence from two downtown rapes led police to Pope, and he has been charged with two counts of kidnapping and two counts of 1st degree sexual assault.
Now police say Pope is no longer connected to a sexual assault that occurred on Jana Lane on December 5th, despite matching the suspect description. "From the outset of Jana Lane we brought evidence to the State Crime Lab. We've since learned that evidence does not tie Antonio Pope to the Jana Lane case, which means we're still looking for a suspect in that case," says Officer Mike Hanson.
According to Police, Pope has confessed to the rapes that occurred on November 29th and December 9th. According to the criminal complaint in each case Pope used a large knife to kidnap the woman off the street. He would then bring her back to his apartment and rape her, and then drop her off where he picked her up.
Hanson says the Jana Lane attack was very different. "In Jana Lane it was flat-out break-in the door and brutally attack this individual and leave. Some clear differences in the two cases from the onset, but because we caught Pope we wanted to make sure that he either was or wasn't connected to that case."
However, Fitchburg Police are still looking at Pope for an attempted sexual assault that took place last Friday. That attack was similar to Jana Lane, in that the suspect came in through an unlocked patio door. That suspect was scared off by the woman and he left before attacking her.
Police say Pope is a suspect because he lives close by. "He's a person of interest in our attempted sexual assault last Friday. We're waiting for evidence to be processed to clarify whether he is or is not a suspect," says Lt. Todd Stetzer of the Fitchburg P.D.