Charlotte rapist sentenced to decades in prison for 1993 attack uptown

Charlotte rapist sentenced to decades in prison for 1993 attack uptown

CHARLOTTE, NC (Joe Marusak/The Charlotte Observer) - A Charlotte man was sentenced to 32 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to raping a female in uptown Charlotte in 1993.

Antonio Gaines, 52, pleaded guilty recently to second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and first-degree kidnapping, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Gaines and several other men kidnapped and sexually assaulted the victim in the 400 block of Caldwell Street on April 23, 1993, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said in April after arresting Gaines in the Scotland County Correctional Center in Eastern North Carolina. Gaines was in prison after being convicted of a 2001 sexual assault.

In the 1993 case, police said they collected and analyzed evidence but were unable to obtain suspect information due to technology limitations. State records show Gaines lived nearby, in the 800 block of 7th Street.

The CMPD Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit reopened the investigation and submitted DNA to the CMPD Crime Lab. In January, Gaines was identified as a suspect based on the DNA evidence, police said.

Gaines was previously convicted of common law robbery, breaking and entering, car theft, second degree rape and other offenses. He also has a pending rape trial for a sexual assault that occurred three days before the one that happened in Charlotte in 1993, court records show.