Rape Kit Backlog Testing Closes Two Connected Cold Cases

the rape kit backlog is offering numerous solutions to cold cases, as results are finally uncovered.


Anthony Thornton, a 46-year-old resident of Detroit, has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. The arrest is the result of two separate cold cases that were never solved as a result of rape kits that were never processed.


According to police records, the first incident took place on April 20th of 2010. Thornton is said to have met a lesbian woman at the Coalition on Temporary Shelter homeless shelter in Detroit. The woman later went with him and two other men to an abandoned home to drink and smoke together. However, once there, the three men are said to have held her down while the others took turns raping her.


The second incident took place on March 8th of 2011. The second victim was invited to a specific home in Detroit by a friend, but when she arrived, the friend was not there. However, Thornton allegedly was, and he is accused of overpowering the victim and then raping her. The attack was interrupted when Thornton heard someone at the front door, at which point the victim was able to escape the home through a window.


The first victim reported the assault against her immediately and had a rape kit collected, however, the evidence was not processed until March 20, 2015. At that time Thornton was identified as the perpetrator. But it wasn’t until recently that the second rape kit was processed and law enforcement was notified that Thornton was now accused of two separate sexual assaults. The second victim was brought in by police and asked to provide a visual identification of Thornton, which she did.


As a result, Thornton has been charged with three counts of both First and Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, one count of Kidnapping, and two counts of Unlawful Imprisonment. Under Michigan law, First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct and Kidnapping are both felonies punishable by up to life in prison, while Second Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.


Unlawful Imprisonment, according to the Michigan penal code, is considered to be a version of kidnapping. It refers to knowingly restraining someone in any of the following circumstances:

  • The individual is restrained by use of a dangerous instrument or weapon.
  • The restrained individual is secretly confined.
  • The individual was restrained to facilitate the commission of another felony (like murder, or rape) or to aid flight after committing a felony.


According to Dana Nessel, the President of the Fair Michigan Justice Project, this case “illustrates the tragedy of Michigan’s failure to quickly process thousands of rape kits in Detroit and the importance of Prosecutor Worthy’s longtime crusade to bring the perpetrators of sex crimes to justice. An accused serial rapist evaded justice for years, and the victims’ demands for justice were unaddressed.”


As the backlog of rape kits in Detroit and other cities around Michigan is slowly cleared, more and more sex crime cold cases will be prosecuted. If you or a loved one have been accused of committing a sex crime in the past, contact The Kronzek Firm immediately at 866-766-5245. We have a long history of successfully assisting people from all over Michigan who have been accused of sex crimes. We can help you too.


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