WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A Florida man accused of raping a woman in Wilmington over 20 years ago has been extradited to North Carolina and made his first appearance in a New Hanover County courtroom Friday morning.
Wayne Edward Soller, 61, of Deltona, Fla., is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree burglary, and first-degree sex offense.
During the appearance, Soller opted for a court-appointed attorney and the judge set his bond at $2 million. His next court appearance is July 8.
The Wilmington Police Department, State Attorney General Josh Stein, and the District Attorney’s Office announced Soller’s arrest in the cold case at a June 10 news conference.
Soller is accused of breaking into the victim’s home on St. Johns Court in Wilmington in Sept. 1996 with the intent of raping her. He then performed a sexual act on the victim while saying he had a knife, according to court documents.
Authorities credited Soller’s arrest after a positive DNA match was made following the testing of a rape kit in October. The results of the testing came back at the end of May and detectives were able to make the match because Soller had been arrested for assaulting a police officer in Florida.
WPD detectives traveled to Deltona, Fla. to interview Soller, which helped bring the case to a close. He was taken into custody by Florida authorities on June 6 and was indicted by a New Hanover County grand jury four days later.
He was jailed in Florida until his eventual extradition to New Hanover County on Thursday.