DNA leads to arrest in 2015 home invasion, sex assault | News

URBANA — A man whose DNA was recently matched to evidence from a 2015 sex assault in Rantoul has been arrested.

Laycell D. Wright, 32, of Rantoul, appeared in bond count Saturday, where Judge Ben Dyer ordered that he be held in lieu of $1 million bond pending his formal charging Tuesday in connection with an Aug. 16, 2015, home invasion and sex assault.

A Rantoul police report said on that date, a woman living on East Congress Avenue reported being sexually assaulted in her own home by a man she did not know.

The woman said she was on her front porch when a man started talking to her about trying to find a free wi-fi signal. After a brief conversation, he left and she went inside.

Fewer than five minutes later, the woman said someone knocked on her door. Thinking it was her neighbor, she opened the door, only to find the same man who had asked about wi-fi now asking for water.

As he did so, he put his knee inside her door to open it. She told him to leave but instead he pushed his way in and dragged the woman down her basement stairs.

As she yelled for her dog, he put his hands over her mouth. She grabbed a smoke detector off the wall and hit him in the head with it. He then forced her into a room where he grabbed at her breasts.

After she hit him on the head with a metal pole, the man told her he was leaving but forced the woman to walk up the stairs in front of him. As she did, he put his hands in her shorts. He then pulled her back into the basement, pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her with his fingers.

The woman put up a mighty struggle, pulling a metal shelf down on top of the man. He then removed his shorts and used his legs and feet to hold her down as she continued to fight him.

The man then said he might have to spend the rest of his life in prison and left.

The woman immediately called the police. Officers said she was crying, wearing a ripped shirt, and had scratches on her forearms and knee. They also found the smoke detector off the wall and her slippers on the stairs going to the basement.

Police processed the house for evidence and on Thursday, more than seven years later, received a report from the Illinois State Crime lab that DNA found on the metal pipe and the shelf matched Wright’s genetic makeup.

About a month ago, he had been convicted in McLean County of possession of methamphetamine and had to give a DNA sample as part of his sentence, the report said.

Rantoul police found Wright and interviewed him at the police department on Friday.

He told them he did not recall the 2015 incident but was “messed up” a lot back then on drugs and alcohol.

Wright is expected to be charged with home invasion and criminal sexual assault, Class X and 1 felonies respectively.

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