Forensic genealogy used to charge Marlborough man in 36-year-old sexual assault cases

Crime

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) — A kidnapping suspect has posted bail Tuesday with a “promise to appear” in court after being charged with crimes stemming back more than three decades. Investigators used forensic genealogy and good old fashion police work to arrest the suspect.

The motto of the Cold Case Unit is they “never forget.” It’s been 36 years but they have now solved four sexual assaults dating back to 1984.

Investigators said they used a national DNA database to hone in on their suspect, 69-year-old Michael Sharpe, of Marlborough, who has been arrested and charged with kidnapping since the statute of limitation has run out on sexual assault.

John Fahey of the state’s attorney’s office told News 8, “We have talked to all four victims; they are on board and ecstatic as you might expect.”

“The first thing one victim said was, ‘It’s great. I’ll be able to sleep three hours tonight instead of the two that I’ve been getting since 1984.’ And another victim indicated that is one of the reasons she never got married,” Fahey said.

In the arrest warrant, investigators said it was stranger sexual assault, kidnapping and it happened right inside the victims’ homes.

All four cases are basically the same: A man breaks into a house late at night, enters the bedroom of a sleeping woman, blindfolds her, sexually assaults her and then stays in the apartment for hours sometimes drinking their beer or eating food before leaving.

In one case, a mother was sleeping with her 2-year-old when she was attacked and forced to carry the sleeping child blindfolded to another bedroom before her assault.

Investigators said they retrieved his DNA from trash in front of his house.

“We were able to secure one bag of garbage that had mail with his name on it, two belts and a fork and the lab was able to secure DNA off the belt which was enough to give us a search warrant for the confirmatory sample,” Fahey said.

The four sexual assault cases were spread out across Connecticut: One in Rocky Hill, another in Middletown, one in Bloomfield and one in Windsor.

In 2014, Sharpe resigned from the Jumoke Academy in Hartford after his criminal history, which prosecutors said includes federal crimes, came to light.

News 8tried calling Sharpe at his house, he never answered.

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