A convicted murderer who left his prison-made dentures at the scene of a rape 16 years ago has only now been convicted of the crime after the fake teeth were finally tested.
The dentures, which bore 67-year-old Thomas Maupin's name and held traces of his DNA, were collected and tagged by crime scene investigators and placed in the police property room following the August 2001 crime in Memphis, Tenn., according to Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.
A sexual assault kit that included DNA evidence also was collected, but became part of a backlog that was not tested until many years later.
In July 2016, the dentures were taken to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for testing, and a partial DNA profile was developed that showed to be consistent with that of Maupin.
Maupin entered his guilty plea and was sentenced to eight years in prison last week.
The victim, who remains emotionally traumatized by the case, did not want to testify in a trial, and approved the settlement.
The rape occurred Aug. 19, 2001, when the 31-year-old victim was walking and was approached by a motorist who got out of his car and began walking with her.
After a few moments, the man forced her into an alley and stabbed her with a metal object under her chin with such force that it struck the roof of her mouth.
He also used the object to sexually assault her after forcing her to perform oral sex.
Maupin arrived in Memphis after serving 12 years in Washington in connection with the killing of a 6-year-old girl in Spokane, Wash.
He was twice convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison, but the convictions were overturned on appeal.