Wells Co. inmate faces charges in 1999 sexual assault case

Mug shot of Roger E. Carlson (Courtesy of the Wells County Sheriff's Department)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – 15 years after a woman was sexually assaulted at gunpoint, Fort Wayne Police believe they’ve cracked a cold case. Roger Carlson, an inmate who’s already serving time for an unrelated crime in Wells County, is the man they believe is responsible.

A forensic nurse examiner tells NewsChannel 15 this victim did everything right: went to a healthcare professional to collect DNA that could be used to bring her attacker to justice even many years later.

Police have been looking for a tip, DNA, something to uncover who raped a woman in late June of 1999. According to court documents, the victim, whose name we’re concealing, met a man who introduced himself as Mike at a bar in Fort Wayne. They talked, drank, and danced into the early morning hours. The victim says Mike followed her out of the bar forced her into his truck where he drove to a rural area and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. After she escaped, she went to the hospital.

Although professionals at The Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center can’t comment on the case, they do say it’s important for victim’s to visit an office like theirs immediately.

“We do want them to come in so that we can gather evidence so that we can document injuries. If they do want to move forward with their case. But most especially make sure that their healthcare needs are met and that we help them take a good step in the direction of healing,” Forensic Nurse Examiner Joyce Moss said.

Most importantly they say it’s up to the victim whether they’d like to press charges or not. Although they’re encouraged to to help with the healing process and to prevent this to happening to others.

Court documents reveal in October of 2013, police had a lead that Carlson may have been the attacker. He was extradited from Alabama in May 2014 to Wells County, Indiana on theft, receiving stolen property charges. Investigators took DNA from him, and say unless he has an identical twin the DNA is a match to what was collected from the victim in 1999.

Carlson faces a rape charge, two counts of sexual deviate conduct, and criminal confinement.

No word yet on when he will face his charges in Allen County.

The Fort Wayne Sexual Assault Treatment Center has resources for victims online. Click here for more information.

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