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Arrest made in 26-year-old sexual assault cold case

On August 11, 1996, a then-21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her apartment in Hancock.

HANCOCK, Maine — Police have finally made an arrest in connection to a cold case dating back 26 years ago thanks to advancements in DNA technology.

On August 11, 1996, a then 21-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her apartment in Hancock, a news release from the Maine Department of Public Safety said Wednesday.

Following the incident, evidence was collected from the woman's apartment and then processed, the release states. Upon processing the evidence, unknown male DNA was revealed.

Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for an unknown male dubbed "John Doe" on August 2, 2002, according to the release.

As the years went on since the incident, DNA technology and genetic genealogy advanced significantly, and the unknown "John Doe" sample was tested by Othram Inc., the release reported. 

The release said the results guided detectives to leads, and once followed up, Maine State Police identified Jason Follette, 56, of Gouldsboro as the suspect.

According to the release, Follette was arrested for the sexual assault at a pier located in Gouldsboro without incident on Wednesday, and was charged with one count of gross sexual assault. He was taken to Hancock County Jail, and other charges may be pending.

The release reported this case has been ongoing since it was initially reported in August of 1996, and would not have been solved without the help of multiple agencies including: Maine Marine Patrol, Hancock County Sheriff's Office, Hancock District Attorney's Office, Maine State Police Troop J, Maine State Police Crime Lab, and Maine State Police detectives.


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