Jackson County authorities have charged a Kansas City man with kidnapping, robbing and repeatedly raping a then 31-year-old woman in 1987 and keeping her locked in the trunk of her vehicle during much of the ordeal.
Vincent E. Williams, 49, is serving time in a Missouri prison after being convicted in 2007 of another rape. Investigators used DNA to connect Williams to the attack noted in the latest charges, according to the Jackson County prosecutor’s office.
Court records state the victim told police that she had been kidnapped and raped after she encountered Williams at Gold Crown Liquors in the 800 block of Southwest Boulevard on March 21, 1987.
The victim said she had gone to the store to call a friend. While she was there, Williams allegedly grabbed her purse from the front seat of her vehicle and ran. The woman said she got into her vehicle and drove in the direction of Williams, who had fled north on Summit Street. She believed he would discard her purse and she could recover it.
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The victim said Williams threw her purse onto the street and he ran down an alley. But he appeared when she got out of her vehicle to retrieve her purse and Williams pointed a gun at her, the court records state. He’s accused of climbing into her vehicle and ordering the woman to drive north on Summit. Williams demanded money and jewelry, began punching the woman and later raped her, according to court records.
Next, the charges contend, Williams made the victim get into the trunk of her vehicle and threatened to kill her. He then drove to an unknown location, where he left the victim in the trunk while he attended what sounded like a party, according to court records.
Williams later drove to another location, where he parked and made the woman get out of the trunk. He raped the woman a second time, court records stated.
Williams ordered the woman to get back into the trunk of the car and drove to another location, where he bought a case of beer, according to the charges. He placed the beer in the trunk next to the victim.
He again got into the vehicle and drove to a fourth location. Williams threatened to kill the victim if she made any noise, the charges allege, and turned up the car radio after telling the woman that he would be back.
After not hearing the suspect for a few minutes, the victim was able to get out of the trunk. She noticed that she was at trailer park but did not recognize the area.
The woman made her way to 11th Street and Broadway, where she asked a security guard to call police because she had been raped.
In June 2011, the Kansas City crime laboratory indicated a genetic profile, developed from a rape kit when the woman reported the attack, matched Williams’ DNA.
When questioned by investigators at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo., Williams denied ever seeing the victim. But after learning that DNA linked him to the investigation, he said that he may have had sexual contact with the victim but was not certain, according to court records.
In 2007, Williams pleaded guilty to the robbery and rape of a 17-year-old victim in 1987. He was also convicted of a 1995 assault and robbery. In that case, he’d been matched to the DNA recovered in a rape case, prosecutors said, but they didn’t charge him with sexual assault because laws on the books at the time placed a three-year statute of limitations on rape.