IRONTON - Based on 20-year-old DNA evidence, a Lawrence County jury convicted a South Point man Wednesday on charges of two counts of rape, one count of kidnapping and one count of abduction.
Frank J. Thacker, 55, of Township Road 1034, already is serving a 27-year prison sentence from a 2018 rape and kidnapping case. He could face an additional 30 years in prison in the 1999 rape and kidnapping case of a 14-year-old girl.
Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard set final sentencing in the case for 2 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at the Lawrence County Courthouse in Ironton.
The teenage girl was kidnapped along County Road 1 on Dec. 22, 1999. She told authorities she was kidnapped and raped. A rape kit collected DNA samples. At the time, there was no DNA match, said Prosecuting Attorney Brigham Anderson.
"This was a 20-year-old cold case solved by DNA evidence," Anderson said Wednesday.
The trial started Monday and was given to the jury Wednesday. The jury deliberated about two hours before returning a verdict Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson said he would argue for a 30-year prison sentence in the 1999 case. He said he would also argue for consecutive prison sentences for Thacker, meaning he could be sentenced in both rape and kidnapping cases to more than 55 years in prison.
"This was one of the most heinous kidnapping and rape cases I've ever prosecuted," Anderson said.
The DNA profile showed the 1999 crime was committed by an unknown male. In 2018, that 1999 DNA evidence matched Thacker, according to Anderson.
Thacker earlier this year rejected a plea deal in a 1999 rape and kidnapping case that would have seen him sentenced to 20 years or more in the case.