HARTFORD - A Connecticut man has been arrested in connection with four armed sexual assaults dating to 1984 thanks to information from a genealogy database, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Michael Marion Sharpe, 69, was arrested Monday after the cold case unit of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office matched his DNA with DNA from the four crime scenes, officials said.
Sharpe is accused of sexual assaults in four different Connecticut towns during June and July of 1984. In each case, he broke into the women's homes and assaulted them at gunpoint, the state's attorney's office said.
“With this arrest, the victims of these crimes who have waited more than three decades to see their attacker brought to justice now know he will be held accountable for his crimes," Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo Jr. said in a statement.
Investigators identified Sharpe as a suspect by using publicly available data from the GEDmatch website, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney John F. Fahey said in an interview.
Investigators collected Sharpe's DNA from items left in the trash outside of his home in Marlborough earlier this month. The DNA found on those items matched the suspect in the four 1984 sexual assaults, the state's attorney's office said.
Sharpe was arrested on Monday after investigators executed a search warrant to take a swab of his saliva to confirm the DNA match, Fahey said.
Sharpe was arraigned in Hartford Superior Court on Tuesday on four counts of kidnapping in the first degree with a firearm. He was released on a promise to appear in court.
Defense attorney Michael L. Chambers Jr. said in an email that he has not had an opportunity to review the forensic lab reports that allegedly link Sharpe to the crimes. “I look forward to having that opportunity when they become available,” Chambers said.
Sharpe is charged with kidnapping and not sexual assault because the statute of limitations for sexual assault was five years in 1984, Fahey said.