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DNA testing links Smyrna man to 2011 rape

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A Smyrna man has been charged with rape in a case that dates back to 2011. The victim told police that she went to a local establishment and made contact with the suspect outside.

“The white male grabbed her arm and she stated that it felt like a needle. She went on to say that she became incoherent. When she came to she had no memory of anything but feels something may have happened,” the police report stated.

The victim told police she did not know the suspect, nor could she describe what he looked like. The victim underwent a toxicology screen at the hospital after the attack. A nurse also performed a sexual assault exam. The toxicology screening revealed that she had been injected with two substances known to be used as date rape drug.

With the help of the TBI, authorities were able to investigate the case and develop a suspect. Joseph Shelton, 40, underwent DNA testing. In 2013, the test came back as a match to Shelton’s DNA from samples obtained by the victim in 2011. The case was later presented to the Grand Jury. As a result, Shelton, who lives on Mason Tucker Drive in Smyrna, was tracked down by Detective Tommy Roberts this month and charged with a single count of rape.

Shelton will appear in a Rutherford County Circuit Courtroom on May 19 and remains behind bars under a $250,000 bond.

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case, DNA, Joseph Shelton, rape
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