FLINT (WJRT) (11/09/2017) - A 17-year-old girl was walking alone on Walter Street in Flint back on an afternoon in September 2010 when a man in a blue truck approached her.
She started crossing the street when the man bolted out of the truck, grabbed her, forced her into the truck, drove to a park and raped her, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
The victim escaped shortly after the rape and called 911. She went to Hurley Medical Center, where staff helped collect evidence with a sexual assault kit and forwarded it to the Flint Police Department.
Then, the kit sat untested and untouched for six years.
In 2016, the Flint Police Department obtained a Sexual Assault Exam Kit Initiative grant that provided funding to test all of its rape kits sitting in storage.
James was scheduled to go on trial this week for the rape of the 17-year-old. However, just before the proceedings got under way, James pleaded no contest to the charges of kidnapping, three counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, stalking a minor and extortion and acknowledged his status as a habitual offender.
James is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4.
“There is an old saying that says the wheels of justice sometimes turn slowly and this may be one of those examples,” Leyton said. “The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative grant has allowed my office to partner with the City of Flint Police Department and the YWCA victim advocates to see justice through on some cold cases that may never have been prosecuted.”
He said more than 300 sexual assault kits have been tested so far with more pending thanks to the grant funding. James is the fifth person to be charged and convicted based on the testing of kits since the program was initiated a little over a year ago.