NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — A Worcester man has been charged in a more than decade-old rape case after the evidence kit was recently tested.
Scot Trudeau, 47, has been indicted on charges of aggravated rape and assault and battery, according to the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III.
The DA’s office said a 23-year-old woman was walking on Coffin Avenue in New Bedford when she was attacked by two men who hit her on the head and dragged her to a secluded area where one of the men held her down and the other raped her.
The victim called 911 and was treated at St. Luke’s Hospital, where she submitted to a sex assault evidence collection kit, also known as a rape kit, according to the DA’s office. The kit was submitted to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Lab but never tested for DNA.
The DA’s office said it’s now working to find and process more than 1,100 previously untested rape kits, with help from a $3.3 million federal grant obtained in 2019.
“Victims who have been sexually assaulted have gone through a very traumatic experience and have a right to have these kits fully tested, especially when an assailant cannot be identified,” Quinn said.
The DA’s office says though it got the money in June of 2019, the pandemic and other issues with the state lab resulted in the first batches of prioritized untested rape kits sent to a private lab (Bode Laboratories) for testing in April of 2021.
The kit from the 2010 case was tested in February 2022 and the DNA evidence was linked to Trudeau. Quinn said the victim was shocked to hear the kit was never tested, but is now appreciative and relieved. The statute of limitations on this case would have expired in March 2025.
According to the DA’s office, Trudeau was convicted in a federal child sexual exploitation case back in 2015. He’s currently on federal probation for attempting to travel and engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
A dangerousness hearing for the New Bedford case is scheduled for Tuesday.
“I am optimistic there are other cases that will be solved as a result of our rape kit initiative,” Quinn added. “Our office discovered a major problem, took action and devoted an immense amount of resources to it, and is now in the process of solving it.”
The DA’s office said it hopes to have all untested rape kits fully tested by the end of the year.
“A lot of progress has been made. And then we’ll have to view each case individually to see if there is an issue with the statute of limitations,” Quinn said.