Man arraigned in 28-year-old case as a result of rape kit initiative

Eduardo Mendez, 48, was arrested in November in New York City on an arrest warrant issued by the Bristol County District Attorney's office.

A 48-year-old man, who was arrested last month for the alleged violent rape of a woman in Attleboro 28 years ago, was arraigned this week and ordered held without bail, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III.

Eduardo Mendez, a former fugitive, was arrested in November in New York City on an arrest warrant issued by Quinn’s office. He was arraigned in Fall River Superior Court on Monday.

The arrest was the result of recent DNA analysis of a rape kit administered nearly three decades ago.

On June 9, 1994, the victim reported that she was walking near the Pleasant Street Bridge in Attleboro when three men grabbed her, covered her mouth as she tried to scream, and forced her into the stairwell of a nearby building, Quinn said in a statement.


Two of the men allegedly held her down as the third violently raped her. All three men reportedly fled the scene after.

The victim reported the incident immediately to police, who checked the area but found no sign of the alleged assailants. They did find her purse at the scene.

The victim described the men to police, noting that the man who raped her had gold on his teeth, the district attorney said. Police were still not able to identify any of the suspects.

At the time she was taken to Sturdy Hospital where she was treated.

A sexual assault evidence collection kit, which was administered in 1994, was tested recently as part of a county-wide project involving the testing of rape kits that were not previously processed or needed to be re-tested using modern DNA technology.

The district attorney’s office previously secured $2.2 million in federal grants for this project to ensure that all untested sexual assault evidence collection kits would be tested using up-to-date technology.

Mendez, who was in the national CODIS system due to a conviction for a stabbing in New York later in the 1990s, was confirmed to be a DNA match in the recent testing of this rape kit. Officials also noted that he had gold in his teeth, as the victim had described nearly three decades ago.


“I am very pleased that the defendant was held without bail as both a danger to the community and a flight risk,” the district attorney said in a statement. “This case was solved because our office helped identify a rape it that was not tested and requested that the state lab expedite the testing, which they did thanks to a grant they had received. I am very happy for the victim that this 28-year-old cold case has been charged.”


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