Tennessee man arrested in 2008 rape case

Calvin Ray Kelly, the Tennessee truck driver charged in a Kalamazoo rape case. (Sept. 15, 2014)


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A truck driver from Tennessee accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Kalamazoo eight years ago has been arrested, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said during a news conference Monday.

Calvin Ray Kelly, 57, was arrested Sept. 9 in Tennessee. He’s facing multiple charges in the case, including one count of kidnapping, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of attempted rape, Schuette said.

“Justice may be delayed, but not be denied,” Schuette said.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (speaking), Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley (left, in uniform), Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting (far left) and other authorities at a press conference regarding the cold case arrest. (Sept. 15, 2014)
(Schuette (speaking), Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley (left, in uniform), Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting (far left) and other officials at the press conference.)

Kelly is currently being held at the Shelby County, Tenn. jail. He will be extradited back to Michigan and has already waived an extradition hearing in Tennessee.

The charges stem from an incident on April 8, 2008 in which a woman ran across US-131 and flagged down an officer with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, saying she had been repeatedly raped at knifepoint. Her assailant was unknown.

The Attorney General Cold Case Sexual Assault Project team made the case a priority, devoting hundreds of hours to the investigation. In 2012, the team’s investigation linked the victim to Kelly, a release from the attorney general’s office said.

Schuette and Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting wouldn’t talk about any specifics of the case, including whether Kelly’s mobility as a truck driver may take the case beyond Kalamazoo.

“More to come on that,” was all Schuette said.

But court records suggest Kelly may be responsible for at least nine similar cases in other states. In her request for an arrest warrant, an assistant attorney general told a judge that a DNA match that lead investigators to Kelly. She told the judge Kelly’s DNA has been linked to other rape cases in Virginia, Tennessee and Missouri between 1985 and 2010. The status of those cases is unclear.

There was no mention of other Michigan cases.

Kelly could face up to life in prison if convicted. Schuette also said he’s requesting that Kelly be sentenced as a habitual offender under the Violent Offender Fourth Offense law, which would require a minimum sentence of 25 behind bars.

It’s unclear how many cases the AG’s cold case CSC team has taken on. The Kelly case appears to be its first success.
The AG’s Office won’t reveal details about other cases, or even the number of cases the team is working on.

What Schuette, who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, would said is that the team is a unique approach to solving similar crimes.

“For these creeps who prey on women, that won’t be tolerated,” he said. “The message is that these assault cases won’t be forgotten on a shelf some place and we’re coming after you.”

Victim advocates agree.

“To have this opportunity to really begin the process of piecing together cases and pulling cases in a way that victims know they haven’t been forgotten,” Debi Cain of the Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence and Prevention and Treatment Board said.

 

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