Man pleads guilty to rape, kidnapping in Wilmington

Man pleads guilty to rape, kidnapping in Wilmington
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:04 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A man whose trial was scheduled to begin this week instead pleaded guilty to rape and kidnapping on Monday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Marcel Robertson, 39, of Fayetteville, was sentenced to a minimum of 5.7 and a maximum of 11.75 years in prison. When he is released, he will be placed on post release supervision for 60 months and he will be required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his lifetime.

Officials say that during the night of October 5, 2019, and into the early morning hours of October 6, 2019, a 26-year-old Wilmington woman was celebrating downtown with friends when she was the victim of a drugging. She woke the next morning in a vacant building under construction on N. Front Street.

“An investigation by the Wilmington Police Department revealed that as she sat incapacitated on the curb outside of a bar on Princess Street, Marcel Robertson, age 39 of Fayetteville, approached her, picked her up, and quickly carried her into the vacant building where he raped her,” the DA’s Office stated in a news release. “Robertson was employed by the person renovating the building and had been given keys to enter the space.

“Multiple individuals observed Robertson carrying the victim and assumed that they were known to one another. Witnesses inquired about her well-being upon seeing her condition and Robertson assured them he was taking care of her.”

According to the District Attorney’s Office, DNA collected from the victim during a sexual assault evidence collection examination was analyzed at the N.C. Crime Lab and confirmed Robertson’s identity.

“As WPD detectives investigated the 2019 rape, they became aware of an investigation by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 involving a young woman who had attended a party with close friends after which she woke to this same defendant raping her,” the news release states. “Surveillance video observed by officers in Fayetteville showed the defendant carrying the apparently unconscious woman into the residence where she was assaulted. No charges were filed in that investigation.

“The New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office requested analysis of the previously untested sexual assault evidence collection kit performed on this young woman and the DNA located in the kit confirmed Robertson’s identity.”

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