DNA leads to arrest in 1990 Winston-Salem rape case

Horace Stokes Jr.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — An arrest has been made in a rape case that was opened in Winston-Salem nearly 30 years ago.

Horace Stokes Jr., 58, is charged with first-degree burglary and first-degree rape, according to a news release from Winston-Salem police.

Shortly after midnight on Jan. 9, 1990, officers with the Winston-Salem Police Department were dispatched to 1639 Lincoln Ave. on a reported rape.

When officers arrived, the victim said she was in the home with her three children, who were all under the age of 7, when she was awakened by a man standing over her bed.

The victim said the man was armed with a knife and had his face concealed. She said he sexually assaulted her and then left.

No leads were developed and the investigation was closed “inactive” on May 10, 1990. The evidence was preserved.

In 2017, the Winston-Salem Police Department was invited to participate in a program in which certain sexual assault kits could be submitted for analysis at a private laboratory.  In December 2017, the sexual assault kit collected as part of the 1990 investigation was submitted for analysis.

In August 2018, detectives learned that from the analysis, DNA evidence was identified that led investigators to a suspect. The investigation was reopened at that point and has been active ever since.

On Tuesday, detectives obtained warrants for arrest charging Stokes. Stokes was already in the Forsyth County Jail being held on unrelated charges.

Stokes was given a $1 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 28.

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