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Sexual assault suspect from 2014-15 incidents bound over for trial
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2014 AND 2015 ASSAULTS

Sexual assault suspect from 2014-15 incidents bound over for trial


The sexual assault case against a 46-year-old Racine man implicated through the use of a genealogical service to link DNA evidence was bound over for trial Thursday morning.

Matthew P. Crockett remains in custody in the Kenosha County Jail on a $250,000 cash bond. Kenosha County Court Commissioner Loren Keating ruled during Thursday’s preliminary hearing that the felony case for assaults that happened in 2014 and 2015 will proceed.

Crockett faces two felony false imprisonment charges, a felony charge of first-degree sexual assault causing great bodily harm and a felony charge of second-degree sexual assault with the use of force.

The defendant is due back in court Aug. 26, for a pre-trial conference at 8:30 a.m. before Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Mary Kay Wagner.

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Crockett also has been identified in two unsolved sexual assault cases in Racine County. No charges have yet been filed in either case.

Mitchell G. Ward, a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, testified during the hearing that a DNA swab from the defendant matched two rape kits taken from the Kenosha assaults.

“(The DNA analyst) told me there was a match for Matthew Crockett as the source of the DNA from the rape kits,” Ward said.

In the first of the two Kenosha assaults, the victim told police she was walking in the 2300 block of 61st Street in Kenosha on her way to a friend’s home on the afternoon of Nov. 10, 2014, when a man grabbed her, pulled her into a vehicle and raped her.

The woman “indicated that she ultimately fought the male subject off her and ran out of the vehicle,” according to the criminal complaint.

Ward said a rape kit in that case was performed, collected and maintained by the City of Kenosha Police Department. The victim later positively identified Crockett in a photo lineup as the man who assaulted her, he said.

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In the second case, a woman reported she was walking home from the Kenosha Job Center on Sheridan Road in April 2015, after she used a computer to look for work. The woman told an investigator she was walking when a man grabbed her, pulled her into a car, drove her a short distance away and raped her.

As a result of the assault, the second victim was impregnated, Ward said. The pregnancy was terminated, and a biological sample was collected and maintained by the Kenosha Police Department.

During cross examination by one of Crockett’s defense attorney’s, Carl Bradford Johnson, Ward stated that no other witnesses to either assault had come forward.

Johnson attempted to ask Ward if he knew of any previous relationship between his client and the victims, but that question wasn’t allowed by Keating after an objection by District attorney Michael Graveley.

“I think it goes to the issue of consent,” Johnson said.

Keating ruled the question is better served for the discovery process and not in a preliminary hearing.

State initiative

Ward said the two rape kits were transferred to the Wisconsin Department of Justice as part of its “Sexual Assault Initiative” program, which is part of a nationwide effort to test unidentified rape kits for possible DNA matches.

“That’s what happened in this case,” he said. “Other DCI agents and members from the Department of Justice ensured that those kits were transferred from the Kenosha Police Department to the Wisconsin Crime Lab and other outsourced labs to be tested.”

In 2018, a profile was created that identified the same male DNA existed in both the Kenosha and the two assaults in Racine County, Ward said. Those profiles were then run through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Combined DNA Index System to see if there was a match, he said.

There were no matches through that process, which led to a swab of the defendant, Ward said.

The complaint states that an agent went through Crockett’s garbage outside his home in Racine and collected things like drinking straws, water bottles and a disposable coffee cup. Those items were sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab in Milwaukee, and they showed a match to Crockett, the complaint states.

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