Rape Kit Test in Albuquerque Leads to Guilty Plea in 2004 Mountain View Assault Case

A rape kit test in New Mexico led authorities to find the suspect in a Silicon Valley sexual assault case that was left unsolved since 2004.

In a press release today, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced that Van Overton Jr., a 45-year-old from Albuquerque, pleaded guilty this week to attacking a woman who was asleep in a Mountain View motel room 16 years ago.

Overton entered his plea on Tuesday, admitting to forced oral copulation during a burglary. He’s scheduled to be sentenced to 25-to-life on Nov. 12.

“This case illustrates the importance of testing rape kits in a timely manner,” prosecutor Barbara Cathcart said in a prepared statement issued Wednesday. “It is vitally important to getting justice for sexual assault victims and to getting serial rapists off the streets.”

Authorities say that in February 2004, Overton broke into a window of the now-shuttered Lucky U Motel in Mountain View, where he sexually assaulted his victim.

The woman immediately reported the crime to the Mountain View Police Department, which collected biological evidence from the scene.

A crime lab analysis could find no match to the DNA, however. So, the case went cold.

The breakthrough came earlier this year when Albuquerque police tested a DNA profile from a 1997 rape case and entered the sample into a national database. That allowed the Santa Clara County crime lab to identify the match that ultimately led to Overton’s arrest.

3 Comments

  1. Speaking of justice for victims of sexual assault, does anyone know the names of the those now young adult guys who raped Audrie Pott? This case is one of those Jeff Rosen’s irregular cases. I have the feeling the families of those guys are very connected to county officials. Young women deserve to know who those guys are! JUSTICE FOR AUDRIE!

  2. Nice to see a predator removed from the streets but something seems to be missing in the news report. If Mt. View’s case went cold for lack of a match, so too would have the New Mexico case — up until the perpetrator did something to get his DNA into CODIS. And what that something was, and when it was, is missing from the story.

    I’m all for getting rape kits processed in a timely manner, but the evidence from those kits is basically useless unless perpetrators are also arrested in a timely manner, something we can count on declining significantly as a result of asinine progressive politics. Budget cuts and newly imagined ways of policing will prove to be the answered prayers of the sexual predator.

  3. Nope, there was no lack of anything. They just suck in Albuquerque. They give rapists 4 years of they are convicted.