A 36-year-old Kansas City woman was walking to her car in Kansas City’s east bottoms on July 9, 1986, when two men forced her into the back of her vehicle. They threatened, restrained and sexually assaulted her. Today, nearly three decades later, one of those suspects was charged with multiple felonies in connection with that attack, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced.
Baker noted that the case is significant in one other clear way. It is the final case funded under federal Cold Case grants that since 2009 have helped Jackson County prosecutors use DNA samples taken as evidence to connect them to the attacker, resulting in 53 filed cold cases and significant prison sentences for defendants who would have otherwise likely gone without consequence.
“The crimes charged in these cases occurred as long ago as 1980, but they leave a lasting impact on each victim,” Baker said. “I’m proud that our prosecutors have been able to secure prison sentences of more than 1,500 years, including 35 life sentences, due to these grants.”
Baker noted that although the grants are ending, the prosecutor’s office has developed expertise that will allow it to continue to look for more cold-case offenders and bring them to justice. Over the course of the Cold Case grants, the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed 4,313 cases. Besides the 53 resulting filings, the DNA work also resulted in one defendant being exonerated.
In the 1986 case filed today, Cleophus Parker, dob: 5/10/1954, faces two counts of Rape, Forcible Sodomy and Robbery in the 1st Degree.*
According to court records released today, the victim was walking to her car when the suspects approached her and told her to be quiet or they would shoot her. They restrained her in her back seat. They drover her to a nearby area on Parretta street, made her lay in a grassy area, tied her hands and raped her. The restrained her again inside the car and drove her to another location and she was able to free herself and flee. Her right shoe was found by police in the grassy area on Parretta street. DNA recovered from the victim was linked to the defendant in 2012. In 2015, Parker was contacted at the Jefferson City Correctional Center.
Parker remains in custody in a Missouri prison but he appeared in Jackson County to be arraigned today on these new charges.
*Charges are only accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until the defendant is either found guilty or has pleaded.