DNA Evidence of Inmate Leads to Arrest for Rape

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MERCED- National DNA Database Hit Leads to Arrest of 2017 Rape Suspect

Per Merced PD: ”On June 14, 2017, Merced PD Officers took a report of a violent sexual assault that resulted in a carjacking. The incident occurred in the 1000 block of W. 16th Street in the city of Merced. The victim reported she had car trouble, so she pulled over to the side of the roadway. A male suspect walked up and offered to help the victim as she stood outside her vehicle. The victim declined any assistance and was forced into her vehicle by the suspect. The victim was punched in the face and sexually assaulted. The suspect eventually forced the victim out of her vehicle and drove off with the victim’s vehicle.

The victim provided a description of the suspect, but no suspects were identified at that time. A sexual assault exam was conducted, and an unknown male DNA profile was located. The DNA profile was uploaded into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database, but no suspects were identified at that time.

On June 28, 2021, the Merced Police Department was notified of a possible DNA match in this case. Michael Allen Henson-Grajeda (30) of Merced was sentenced to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Henson-Grajeda’s DNA was collected because of his conviction and it was uploaded into CODIS. Henson-Grajeda’s DNA was identified as a possible match to the suspect’s DNA in this case.

In October of 2021, detectives located and interviewed Henson-Grajeda about the allegations. Henson-Grajeda denied the allegations. His DNA was collected at the request of the California Department of Justice, so it could be compared to the unknown male profile in this investigation.

On March 10, 2022, the California Department of Justice confirmed Henson-Grajeda’s DNA was a positive match to the suspect’s DNA in this investigation.

On March 16, 2022, detectives met with Henson-Grajeda who was in custody at the Merced County Jail for possession of stolen property and violation of probation. Henson-Grajeda was also on probation for auto theft when this sexual assault occurred. Henson-Grajeda was interviewed and arrested for rape by means of force or fear, sodomy by means of force or fear, false imprisonment, carjacking, and attempted oral copulation by means of force or fear”.

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