Serial rapist in decade-old cases caught through DNA match, Fla. authorities say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJXT/CNN) - A Florida sheriff says a predator is off the streets after he allegedly confined as many as eight women in cars then sexually assaulted them between 2006 and 2009.

Brandon Young, 34, faces life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years, if convicted. (Source: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office/WJXT/CNN)

Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams announced Wednesday the arrest of 34-year-old Brandon Young. The man was taken into custody in late July after prosecutors used DNA to link him to years-old sexual assault cases.

"The DNA does not lie. You can do all you want to do to try to cover up a crime or hide, but DNA is proof-positive,” said crime analyst Ken Jefferson, a former sex crimes detective.

Williams and State Attorney Melissa Nelson got a grant to test backlogged rape kits through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. DNA from several of the kits tested came back as a familial match to Young’s brother, who was in a police database.

Detectives established Young as a person of interest and got a warrant for his DNA, which matched the DNA from the rape kits, Williams says. It was enough to make an arrest.

“A previously unknown sexual predator was taken off the street and can now be held accountable for his actions,” Williams said.

Young could have had as many as eight victims, the sheriff says. He is charged with six counts of sexual battery, one count of attempted sexual battery and two counts of false imprisonment.

“This is overall really good police work that they did. It shows the diligence they put into the case," Jefferson said.

Reports from four of the incidents indicate Young often met his victims in social situations and developed a rapport with them before holding them against their will and raping them.

One woman claims a man jumped into her car in a dark parking lot, burned her with a cigarette and raped her.

Another woman says she was attacked after meeting a man at a nightclub.

A third incident happened in a Walmart parking lot after the victim met a man at a nearby fast food joint.

In the fourth incident, a woman says a man grabbed her by the hair, pulled her into his car and raped her at gunpoint.

If convicted, Young faces life in prison with a mandatory minimum of 25 years, according to Nelson.

Copyright 2019 WJXT, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office via CNN. All rights reserved.