Hamilton, Ohio man pleads guilty to brutal 2004 rape

HAMILTON, Ohio -- A man accused of raping and kidnapping a 17-year-old girl in 2004 is in jail thanks to DNA evidence.

Roman Degante pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in a Butler County courtroom after evidence from a 2013 burglary he was arrested for tied him to the rape that went unsolved for almost a decade.

In early 2013, Degante was arrested for the burglary and beating of a man in  the man's Hamilton home.

Because that case involved felony charges, Degante was swabbed and his DNA entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), according to Hamilton police.

By June 2013, CODIS analysis linked Degante to the 2004 crime. On June 6, 2013 he was indicted on two counts of rape and one count of abduction. Bond for Degante was set at $350,000 at the time.

Degante abducted the 17-year-old Hamilton teen as she walked alone late at night, according to Delgante. The girl told police Degante broke her nose, split her lip, and raped her in a parking lot in the 100 block of North B Street.

“This was a brutal crime,” Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser told the Journal News during the 2013 indictment. “He beat the hell out of her.”

Since the rape occurred the victim, who remains unnamed because of the nature of the crime, moved out of state.

The woman, now in her late 20s, agreed to the plea filed in court Monday.

Degante is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.

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