NEW ORLEANS —The New Orleans District Attorney’s office picked up a plea agreement on a rape case from 18 years ago, the office announced Monday.
Reginald Berry, 45, will spend 22 years in prison with no ability to have his sentenced reduced.
According to the District Attorney’s office, Berry forced his victim into his house in New Orleans East on Dec. 23, 1993. The victim couldn’t identify the house, but she was able to positively identify the block and side of the street the house was on.
An investigation into the 1993 rape ended without an arrest.
A medical examination produced enough DNA to be logged into evidence and was later entered into a Federal database, the District Attorney’s office said. In 2007, the Federal database identified Berry, but police didn’t investigate any further.
However, the District Attorney’s office said when Ronal Serpas took over as police chief, the NOPD Sex Crimes unit cleared a list of unconfirmed cases. This led to the arrest of Berry.
But, according to Leon Cannizzaro’s office, “While the victim was eager to see the defendant punished for the crime he had committed, she was not anxious to participate in the process due to the lack of dignity with which she had been treated in the 1993 investigation. In light of these circumstances, the DA’s office offered the defendant the plea agreement.”
Berry won’t be eligible for release until he’s 66 years old.