Man charged in connection with second sexual assault cold case from 1994
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - CMPD has charged a man for his involvement in a second sexual assault cold case in Charlotte from 1994.
In April of 2019, L.J. Bertha, 59, was charged in connection with the November 1995 sexual assault involving a teen girl who was walking to a payphone to call her mother.
A sexual assault kit was taken after the incident was first reported and additional testing was completed in 2018 as part of a federal grant to CMPD. This new testing identified Bertha as the suspect.
Bertha was arrested on April 10 and charged with second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and common law robbery.
He was later released from jail with an electronic monitor.
Police say DNA testing has now identified Bertha as the suspect in a second case.
Police say on July 30, 1994, an adult female victim was walking on Beatties Ford Road when an unknown male approached her and began talking to her.
As she was waiting to cross the street, police say the unknown male forced her to a dead-end road, where he sexually assaulted her while armed with a razor. The victim was able to escape and run to a nearby convenience store and the store clerk called the police.
The victim was treated at the hospital and a sexual assault kit was completed. CMPD initially tested the sexual assault kit in 1994, and additional testing was completed on it in 2019 as a part of a federal grant.
On Thursday, officers located and arrested Bertha without incident and charged him in the sexual assault case dating back to 1994.
He was taken to police headquarters where he was interviewed. After the interview, Bertha was taken to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
He is charged with two counts of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping.
Anyone with information concerning this case or the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. To learn more about Crime Stoppers, please visit http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.
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