Untested rape kit identifies suspect accused of gang rape in Detroit

- A Port Huron man was arrested this week in connection to two cold case rapes in Detroit dating back to 2010. In one of the crimes, he's even believed to have gang raped a woman he met at a homeless shelter.

Investigators announced the arrest of Anthony Thornton on Thursday. He was charged with the two rapes - one of which dates back to 2010 when he met a woman at a shelter in Detroit.

According to police, in April 2010, Thornton met his first victim, a lesbian, at the shelter and they left with two other men to go to an abandoned house to drink and smoke. The victim told police when she tried to leave, Thornton and the other men took turns raping her.

A rape kit was done but it was not processed until March 20, 2015 - almost five years after the crime.

The victim's rape kit is one of thousands dating back to 2009 that were never tested.

Dana Nessel, President of the Fair Michigan Justice Project, is stepping in to help.

"I know they say justice delayed is justice denied but sometimes justice delayed is certainly better than no justice at all," Nessel said.

She also credits Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy for stepping up to solve these cold cases.

"I think it really speaks to the importance to prosecutor Worthy's long standing crusade to try and get rape kits tested," Nessel said. "It's just upsetting in any cases like that to know that perhaps other sexual assaults could have been prevented had they been tested in a timely fashion."

The victim at the shelter isn't the only one. According to police, Thornton met his second victim at a home in Detroit when a friend invited her over. The friend wasn't there but Thornton was, police say, and he raped her inside the home.

"I think it's the type of experience that never leaves a person and I expect that in those case, those scars - not just physical scars but the emotional scars last a lifetime," Nessel said.

Thornton has been charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, and two counts of unlawful imprisonment and is being on a $100,000 cash bond. He faces life in prison, in convicted.

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