Fayetteville police make arrest in 2011 rape case

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Willie Pearl Mack has been charged in a 2011 rape case.

Fayetteville Police said they have solved a cold case rape. Willie Pearl Mack is charged with second-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping in a sexual assault case from 2011.

Mack was already behind bars, charged in an August 2016 kidnapping, robbery and rape. During that investigation, detectives got leads about him possibly being linked to a cold case from 2011.

In that Aug. 8, 2011, incident, investigators said a woman was walking down Person Street and was grabbed and pulled behind a building. She was then sexually assaulted.

Detectives said for some reason, the rape kit for that case had been sitting for years until it was sent off eight months ago to the FBI, which confirmed this week that Willie Mack was a match for a suspect.

Just last month, Attorney General Josh Stein expressed disappointment in the nearly 15,000 untested rape kits from agencies across the state.

Fayetteville Police Department teams up with the FBI through their Sexual Assault Kit partnership, which allows agencies to quickly test rape kits.

"In our department, we've tried to revamp and restructure how we handle all sexual assault cases," said Detective Robert DeShields.

DeShields works on the FPD's Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit. He spoke with the victim and said this break in her case will give her the closure she's been searching for.

"Obviously everything will never be perfect again, but it gives her some sort of reassurance that her journey is coming to an end," said DeShields.

Detectives said Mack did not know any of his victims. The FPD considers him a serial rapist. Mack is being held at the Cumberland County Detention Center on a $700,000 bond.

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sexual assaultcold casefayetteville newsFayetteville
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