A Deptford man who confessed to the crime after being implicated in a 20-year-old unsolved rape case was indicted this week on a slew of charges related to that incident.
A Gloucester County grand jury formally indicted Dewaine Thornton, 53, on charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault by force or coercion, second-degree robbery, third-degree criminal restraint and second-degree burglary for the 1992 burglary and rape of a 32-year-old woman at the Heather Ridge apartment complex.
Thornton was finally caught after the case was reopened late last year by West Deptford Detective Sgt. Michael Cramer, who spent seven months on the case, having DNA evidence examined and eventually pinning the crime on Thornton, who confessed on tape after being arrested in March.
He was high on drugs and looking to steal money to get more drugs, Thornton told police, when he broke into the woman's apartment around 3 a.m. on May 18, 1992.
But the burglary turned into a sexual assault—the woman told police she awoke to find Thornton looming over her bed. He then threatened to stab her with a knife before raping her and fleeing, police said.