Dec 5, 2012 5:05 AM

DNA Links Man To Violent Rape Attempt

Police have charged a Mercer County man in connection with a violent attempted rape near the University of Kentucky campus last September.

On Sept. 7, the victim reported that a man jumped her from behind as she walked along East Maxwell Street. The man began tearing at her clothes and underwear. She fought off her attacker, pulling a small knife and stabbing the man in the chest.

Police say they didn't have many leads until they got a call from deputies in Mercer County. That same day, Christopher Releford, 32, claimed a man attacked and stabbed him with a box cutter after he pulled over to help him change a tire along U.S.-127 in Salvisa. Releford suffered wounds to his neck and face.

"He thought he might have got sucker-punched, and then he saw the blood on his arm, and realized he was bleeding. That's when he saw the shiny object in the suspect's hand make a swiping motion, and that's when he got him here in the face," Mercer County Sheriff's office Chief Deputy Scott Elder said at the time.

Investigators say Releford made the story up. After investigators sent photos of Releford to Lexington police, detectives questioned him and took a DNA sample. Police say the results of DNA tests matched blood on the victim's knife and found at the scene to Releford.

Police charged Releford with attempted rape and assault.


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