A man who police say committed a dozen rapes over nine years was arrested by the Raleigh Police Department on Tuesday.
Rickey Hall, 59, faces charges of first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping for 12 rapes allegedly committed between 1995 and 2004.
The cold-case arrest came after a match from the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a local, state and federal database of DNA profiles from convicted offenders, unsolved-crime-scene evidence, and missing persons, police said in a news release.
At least 10 different female victims are identified in arrest warrants, some of whom said they were kidnapped and assaulted more than once. Several said Hall threatened to kill them if they fought him or reported their assaults.
Hall is being held in jail without bail and was appointed a public defender in Wake County court on Wednesday afternoon, court records show.
He has been charged with:
15 counts of first-degree sexual assault
12 counts of first-degree rape
10 counts of first-degree kidnapping
7 counts of assault serious bodily injury
6 counts of communicating threats
5 counts of assault with a deadly weapon
4 counts of assault on a female
1 count of common law robbery
1 count of sexual assault
Sexual assault kit testing
The evidence in this case was included as part of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a statewide effort to test more kits, initiated by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation in 2019, the release stated.
In a statement, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein congratulated Raleigh police on making an arrest in these cases.
“I also want to commend the scientists at the State Crime Lab for their hard work to test evidence and give law enforcement the tools they need to move cases forward,” Stein said. “We know that there’s always a possibility that criminals who aren’t caught will commit the same crimes again, so we’re working to solve cold cases, get justice for survivors, and get violent offenders of our streets.”
The arrest, Stein said, points to the importance of the CODIS database.
There were 232 CODIS hits, or positive matches, in October of this year, according to Stein. It is a monthly record. At least 165 of the hits were linked to sexual assaults.
CODIS can match DNA samples to potential suspects of different types of crimes.
About 83% of the 1,584 sexual assault kits in the Wake County database since 2019 have now been tested, or 1,318 kits.
There have been 26 arrests since 2019 made in Wake County sexual assault cases through positive DNA matches in CODIS.
Rape clearance rates
Local police departments and victim support centers say rape is a hard crime to solve due to long investigations, a backlog of untested sexual assault kits submitted to law enforcement agencies, and victims afraid to report their crime.
In Raleigh, the rape clearance rate in 2022 was 42%, up from 37% in 2021, according to police. The News & Observer has asked police for updated reported rape data and clearance rates.
Sexual assaults may take months to investigate and years to close, and clearance rates may increase over time, police spokesman Lt. Jason Borneo told The N&O.
More than half — about 60% — of clients at the InterAct of Wake County, a rape crisis center, report their sexual assaults to law enforcement, The N&O reported previously.
In Durham, where reported rapes are up by 22% compared to this time last year, at least 10 people have been convicted of sexual assault crimes through SAKI, according to the Durham County District Attorney’s Office.
Rather than more rapes occurring now, an increase in reported rapes can indicate more victims reporting assaults committed months and even years ago, according to police.
If you need help
▪ InterAct’s crisis line in Wake County is available 24 hours a day in English at 919-828-7740 and in Spanish at 844-203-8896. Find other resources on InterAct’s website at https://interactofwake.org/.
Counselors are also available from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday.
▪ The Durham Crisis Response Center offers a 24-hour helpline and offers various resources on its website at https://thedcrc.org/. The center’s helpline is available in English at 919-403-6562 and in Spanish at 919-519-3735.
▪ Orange County Rape Crisis Center’s helpline is open 24 hours at 919-967-7273. Other resources can be found in English and Spanish on the organization’s website at https://ocrcc.org/.
▪ RAINN’s national sexual assault hotline is open 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-4673.