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DNA nails LI man to 1997 boro rape

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Gregory Stovall, 38, of 32 Gray Ave. in Medford, L.I. is expected to be sentenced to 23 years in prison next month after he pleaded guilty Monday to raping the 34-year-old victim Ð who was not publicly identified Ð before Queens Supreme Court Judge Robert Kohm, Brown said.Back on Dec. 11, 1997, Stovall entered the woman's Queens Village home between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., where he waited for her, wearing a mask. When she arrived, the defendant lunged at her and a struggle ensued. He then held a knife to the victim's throat and said, "Don't do anything stupid... You want me to cut your head off?"Prosecutors did not reveal the victim's address.When the woman tried to escape, Stovall tackled her in her driveway and dragged her into the home's basement, where he blindfolded her, bound her feet and cut off her clothes, the DA said. He then raped the victim and took her mink coat, a VCR, fax machine and Christmas presents before driving off in her car.In September 2005, law enforcement officials in Virginia took a DNA sample of Stovall after he was charged with burglary in that state. That sample matched DNA taken from a rape kit that was put together when the Queens Village woman was treated at a local hospital following the rape, Brown said."This case underscores yet again the crucial importance of DNA evidence which as irrefutable proof of guilt or innocence," the DA said. "After nearly eight years of avoiding arrest in the case, the defendant was done in by his own DNA and will now serve a lengthy prison sentence as punishment for this brutal assault."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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