SUSPECT IN 1996 COLD CASE INDICTED FOR RAPE BASED ON DNA HIT
Posted on 1/8/2015
Defendant: Roshawn Lamar Tatom
Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announced today that the Franklin County Grand Jury has returned a rape indictment on Roshawn Lamar Tatom, age 35, in connection to an offense that took place in 1996. Tatom has been indicted for one count Rape (F-1), and one count Kidnapping (F-1), for a total of two counts. On February 13, 1996, the 46 year old victim at the time, exited a COTA bus and was walking across the parking lot of the Parsons Avenue Baptist Church towards her residence in the area of Obetz Road and Parsons Avenue, when she was grabbed, beat, became unconscious, and was dragged to nearby field by a male who then proceeded to rape her. In April of 2014, evidence from the victim’s sexual assault was submitted to BCI for testing. In June, a DNA profile was obtained matching the DNA profile of Roshawn Tatom. Tatom was 17 years old at the time of the rape. “The defendant faces an indeterminate sentence of 10-25 years as to each count, for a total of 20-50 years in prison”, O’Brien stated. O’Brien further stated, “DNA technology has advanced substantially over the past three decades, which increases our chances of solving cases like this where the evidence has been preserved”.