Oct. 28, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Thanks to DNA technology, an inmate in a Missouri prison has been charged with the July 5, 1985, assault and rape of a then 14-year-old girl.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a press release that Melvin Conley, 56, has been charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of rape with a weapon, all three class A felonies. These charges were filed mid-October.
According to court records, the then 14-year-old victim told police that on the evening of July 5, 1985, she left a friend’s house when a man grabbed her from behind and told her to be quiet or he would kill he. He allegedly raped her twice, along the 2000 block of Guinotte Avenue. Evidence collected from the victim was tested and linked to the defendant. Conley is currently being held in a Missouri prison.
This case was co-investigated by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Cold Case Unit and the Kansas City Police Department’s Cold Case Unit. On Aug. 20, 2014, detectives of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department contacted Conley at Western Missouri Correctional Center where he was serving time on unrelated charges. Conley was read his Miranda rights, stated he understood his rights and was willing to talk to the detectives. He stated he used cocaine and alcohol a fair amount during the early 1980’s, but had no memory of committing this crime.