DNA evidence connects Columbia man to 2002 rape case
COLUMBIA - A Columbia man went on trial Tuesday in a 2002 rape case that prosecutors say was cracked with DNA evidence.
Jackie Jennings, 53, is charged with forcible rape and burglary.
A probable cause statement said the victim was leaving a downtown bar when she was approached by an unidentified man who offered her a ride. She told police she refused and drove home then went to sleep.
The statement said the woman laid down and then woke up feeling ill, only to notice a man standing in her room. At that point, the court documents said, the man attacked her and she passed out, waking later to find her clothes were off.
Investigators said they noticed a light bulb above the woman's front door had been unscrewed. They got fingerprints from that, and DNA from the scene went into a database.
A defense attorney said when Jennings was placed on felony probation in a different case, he had to provide DNA, which was then matched to the rape case. He was indicted in 2017.
[CORRECTION: It was originally reported a prosecutor said Jennings was placed on a felony probation, when it was a defense attorney.]