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Former Construction Worker Sentenced For 2006 Rape After Genetic Genealogy Links DNA To Him
Lloyd Wendell Ailes was linked to the rape of a Miami University of Ohio student after genetic genealogy connected DNA at the scene to his biological father — who didn't know he existed.
An Indiana man was sentenced to 17 years in an Ohio prison after DNA linked him to the 2006 rape of a university student.
Lloyd Wendell Ailes, 59, pleaded guilty in May to multiple charges related to the rape and robbery of a 21-year-old student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, according to NBC Cincinnati affiliate WLWT. On Thursday, a Butler County judge ruled that Ailes must serve the next 17 years behind bars, with just over 200 days credit for time served, as reported by Fox affiliate WXIX-TV.
“I’m sorry,” Ailes said at sentencing. “If I could take it back, I would. I can even tell the court. I mean, if there’s anything I could do to change it, I would.”
The victim, whose name was not released, was also present in the courtroom.
On Jan. 9, 2006, Ailes wore a mask and raped the student at an off-campus residence, according to Butler County’s Journal-News. The former construction worker — who’d been working in Oxford at the time of the attack — revealed his face to the victim, which allowed her to help authorities create a composite sketch of the suspect. Butler County prosecutor Mike Gmoser noted at the time of Ailes' arrest that the sketch "was virtually the same as the face of this defendant at the time of the assault," WLWT reported.
Ailes also stole $60 from the victim’s purse.
According to WLWT — which covered the story in 2006 — the victim was robbed at gunpoint before the masked man tied her up and sexually assaulted her at the North Campus Avenue address.
“Someone just got in our house,” a roommate told 911 dispatchers. “My housemate just got raped. Please, come. He has a gun and told her he’d kill her.”
A similar attack occurred two months later, this time in Fayette County, Indiana — less than 50 miles away — according to the Journal-News. Although investigators determined that DNA found at both crime scenes were a match, they came up empty-handed when submitting the samples into law enforcement databases at the time.
Eventually, the investigation grew cold.
Prosecutors say that advances in genetic genealogy and the work of Parabon Nanolabs helped investigators link Ailes to the crime years later, according to WLWT.
“We were ultimately able, through thousands of hours of work and the analysis of many genetic details, we [were] able to determine, first, who the father of this defendant was,” said Gmoser.
But therein lay a problem, prosecutors said: Ailes’ biological father was unaware that he even had a son.
“That’s what made it so complicated because we were able to find the father, but then almost reached a dead end in determining who the mother was,” Gmoser continued.
Detectives determined that the man had engaged in an affair with Ailes’ mother, who was reportedly unaware that her husband was not actually Ailes’ biological father, as reported by the Journal-News.
Ultimately, Ohio officials arrested Ailes in Connersville, Indiana, on Dec. 9, 2021.
However, Ailes' defense challenged the DNA testing in court in March, claiming that Ailes' DNA was obtained with a flawed search warrant, according to the Dayton Daily News. Attorneys claimed that, because two different names appeared on the November 2021 document, it was invalid. Those arguments were rejected by the trial judge in April, according to the Butler Journal News, after prosecutors presented evidence that two names on the search warrant were investigators in Ohio and Indiana, and their signatures were directed by the judge who issued the warrant.
Prosecutors also the judge they'd received a separate search warrant to collect DNA from Ailes while in prison in Ohio, after his defense raised objections to the initial collection.
A month later, Ailes pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated burglary, and two counts of aggravated robbery in connection with the university student’s rape. The plea was not the result of negations to obtain lesser charges, according to WLWT.
Butler County Assistant Prosecutor Lindsay Sheehan spoke about the victim — now 38 years old — at Thursday’s sentencing.
“That 17 years that Lloyd Ailes was sentenced to today is completely just because, for 16 years, that victim had to spend probably a lot of her days thinking, ‘Is he still out there? Is he coming back for me?’” said Sheehan. “So he gets to spend the next 17 years that she had to potentially live in fear, he gets to serve those behind bars. And I think that’s more than just.”
According to WXIX-TV, Ailes must also register as a sex offender within five days of his prison release and will be on probation for a mandatory five-year period.
Ailes has not been charged in the Fayette County assault to date.