DNA evidence links Salisbury teen to 2015 rape, robbery

Published 12:19 am Friday, October 13, 2017

SALISBURY — Rowan County investigators say DNA evidence links a Salisbury teenager to a 2015 rape and robbery at an Old Union Church Road apartment.

The victim, who did not know the suspect, has since moved.

Austin Coy Coleman, 19, of the 300 block of West 14th Street, was charged with felony first-degree rape, felony robbery with a dangerous weapon, and felony first-degree burglary.

The assault occurred Jan. 11, 2015, in the 1700 block of Old Union Church Road.

Investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office say they arrived at the apartment complex and spoke with a 31-year-old woman who said she was at home watching television when someone knocked on her front door.

The woman was expecting a family member to drop by, so she opened the door. Two black men, one with a silver handgun, demanded to know where her money was. She told them she didn’t have any, and the men started going through her belongings, according to reports.

The woman initially thought someone was playing a joke on her, but she quickly realized the men were not joking.

One suspect wore a gray hooded sweatshirt; the other wore an orange hooded sweatshirt. The men had the sweatshirts covering much of their faces, reports said.

At gunpoint, the men demanded that the woman perform a sex act, authorities said.

The men told the woman to go into a bedroom and count to 3oo. They said if she came out sooner, they would shoot her. The men stole two flat-screen TVs and an iPhone cellphone, authorities said.

The woman ran to a neighbor’s house and asked the residents to call 911. Investigators collected DNA evidence from the scene.

Rowan investigators used a DNA database to match Coleman to the crime, they said. A second suspect, whom authorities did not name, is being sought.

Coleman remains in the Rowan County jail under a $250,000 secured bond.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.