Earlier today Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced that a grand jury has indicted 48-year-old Leonard Murphy of Watertown, Wisconsin, on four counts of first-degree sexual assault for a 1999 rape that happened here in Newport.
It is alleged that on or about July 11, 1999, Murphy sexually assaulted an individual in Newport. The victim responded to Newport Hospital a few hours after the assault where a sexual assault evidence examination kit was collected and submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health. Police did not identify a suspect and the case remained open.
On March 15, 2015, the Rhode Island Department of Health notified Newport Police that a national DNA Database search resulted in a match between DNA collected after the assault and a convicted offender located in Wisconsin. The DNA allegedly matched that of Leonard Murphy, who was required to submit his DNA as a condition of his sentence for a drug charge in Wisconsin, which was imposed in December 2014.
The Office of Attorney General presented the evidence to the Grand Jury, which returned the indictment. A Governor’s warrant was issued for Murphy who refused to waive extradition from Wisconsin.
The indictment was unsealed on July 16, 2015 when the defendant appeared in Newport County Superior Court for arraignment. He is being held without bail, and a bail hearing is scheduled for July 30, 2015 before Justice Stephen P. Nugent in Washington County Superior Court.