YPSILANTI TWP. (WWJ) - A man who police say brutally raped a woman in Ypsilanti Township before attempting to cut her throat was found guilty by a jury four years after he committed the crime.
A jury on Thursday convicted 41-year-old Anthony Chandler of first degree criminal sexual conduct, intent to commit great bodily harm and felonious assault. He’s due back in court on June 3, when he could be sentenced to up to life in prison.
Chandler was arrested in Aug.2012 after DNA evidence was used to identify him as the suspect in the March 29, 2009 attack.
According to police, the 44-year-old victim was walking alone on Harris Road when she realized she was being followed. She ran into a nearby apartment complex in an attempt to hide from her follower and knocked on several doors, but no one answered.
Police say after a brief period of time, the woman thought her follower had departed so she stepped back onto the roadway. It was at this point police say Chandler grabbed the woman by the hair and dragged her into the woods where she was beaten and raped. When Chandler was finished, he attempted to cut the victim’s throat, police said.
Hearing cries for help, a local citizen called 911. Realizing law enforcement was closing in, Chandler fled the area. Arriving deputies talked with the victim, investigated the scene and documented evidence crucial in helping detectives later identify Chandler as the suspect.
According to reports, Chandler’s involvement in the crime came to light three years later, after DNA evidence from both a glove found at the crime scene and a semen stain on the woman’s coat linked him to the assault. Police say the woman was also able to identify Chandler as her attacker from a photo lineup.
A sample of Chandler’s DNA was already in the state system because he was a convicted felon. According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, Chandler was sentenced to spend two to five years in prison in 1990 on two counts of vehicle theft.
“Although the wheels of justice move slowly at times, they do turn; and justice was appropriately served in this case. I’m proud of the comprehensive work of our staff and our Prosecuting Attorney’s Office,” Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton said in a statement.