49-year-old Scott R. Williams has been arrested in connection to a May 13, 1995 attack in which a Penn State college student was brutally raped and beaten.
Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna announced during a news conference that Scott R. Williams of Reedsville, has been charged with eight counts, including rape, aggravated assault and robbery.
The DA said Williams was arrested on Tuesday October 5, after being identified by investigators through genetic genealogy testing. It was alleged that he left behind some semen, and a genetic material testing on his mother and son blew his cover.
An amended arrest warrant from Centre County, Pennsylvania, revealed that a woman found the victim lying on the ground, not wearing pants or underwear. The victim was mumbling incoherently, her face and head were covered in blood, and her right eye was swollen shut. Another woman was driving by and stopped to give help. The victim needed four plates put in her skull at the hospital, cops said. Officers said they found her pants, underwear and shoes in a flower bed near where she was discovered.
“In addition to being beaten, the following items were taken from [redacted] during the assault: her apartment key, credit card, MAC, PSU student ID and driver’s license.”
Though the college student did not remember details of being attacked, investigators determined the suspect used an object.
Investigators used vaginal swabs, which turned up the attacker’s semen, they said. Using that evidence they had, investigators obtained an arrest warrant in 2000 under the name John Doe. A breakthrough in the case some two decades later allowed them to uncover the suspect’s identity to execute the warrant.
Using newer genetic genealogy techniques, they found a woman they determined was clearly related to the attacker. In a January 25, 2021 interview with police, she agreed to give DNA samples, according to the affidavit.
It turned out she was more than just closely related. Under testing, she had a more than 99 percent chance of being the attacker’s mother, police said. The woman said she had two sons. One lived in Alaska. Another, Scott Williams, lived in Reedsville, Pennsylvania. Detectives went to a banquet at his son’s high school in an attempt to surreptitiously get his DNA sample. Though the suspect apparently did not eat or drink there, investigators were able to further advance the case after learning that his son apparently did. According to the affidavit, they got a discarded fork, knife, spoon, napkin and plate. Testing revealed that the boy had more than a 99 percent chance of being the attacker’s son, authorities said.
Investigators finally pulled trash at Williams’ home on June 2. Among three bags, they discovered six bottles, or “spit bottles,” containing tobacco and saliva. Facebook pictures included Williams having what seemed to be tobacco in his mouth, and also a picture of a spit bottle or “spitter.”
Testing revealed match between Williams and the attacker. Officers also revealed an astronomically low chance of the semen belonging to anyone but him, giving the figure as 1 in 2 quadrillion.