71-year-old man charged 25 years after rape in Winston-Salem after new evidence surfaces

John Henry Alford

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A 71-year-old man is facing charges more than 25 years after he allegedly raped a woman, according to Winston-Salem police.

The case began on Nov. 3, 1993, when police responded to a reported rape.

A woman said an unknown man approached her with a knife on Cayuga Street and forced her into another area where he assaulted her.

With no new leads, the case became inactive on Jan. 11, 1994.

Then, in 2017, the Winston-Salem Police Department took part in a North Carolina sexual assault kit testing initiative, in which the city submitted sexual assault kits for analysis at a private laboratory.

Since then, WSPD’s special victims unit continued investigating leads based on the results of that initiative.

On Dec. 17, analysis of a sexual assault kit sparked a lead.

With new evidence, on Sept. 17, 2019, Winston-Salem police obtained warrants for the arrest of John Henry Alford, 71, for first-degree rape, first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping. Alford was already being held in the North Carolina Department of Correction for unrelated reasons.

He was given a $1 million secured bond and a court date of Sept. 26.

Authorities ask that anyone with information about this 1993 sexual assault investigation to contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at (336) 773-7700 or Crime Stoppers at (336) 727-2800. CrimeStoppers may also be contacted via “Crime Stoppers of Winston-Salem Forsyth County” on Facebook.

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