Nov 18, 2011 12:45 AM by John Romero

Man arrested in rape of 12 year old girl

Tonight Colorado Springs police have identified a suspect in the brutal rape of a 12 year old girl last month. A DNA match reportedly connects him to the case, but he's not behind bars here, but in Louisiana. We've learned Leonard Palmer was already on the run when the crime allegedly occurred.

The attack happened back in October, along the 400 block of East Brookside on the city's south side. The young girl was walking to the bus stop when investigators say Palmer dragged the girl behind a building and violently raped her. On the night of the attack, Leonard Palmer was arrested by U.S. Marshall's for escaping from a Louisiana jail. Still, investigators identified him as a person of interest and tonight they confirmed the DNA of Palmer is a match with the rapists. "He was definitely on our radar and we absolutely had to wait till the work by the labs was completed in order to make that connection to make it solid enough to state that he is absolutely our suspect." explains Sgt. Mike Velasquez with CSPD.

But all of this started on October 15th when Palmer and another inmate escaped from a Louisiana jail. From there, the two men along with two women traveled to Shreveport and New Orleans before coming to Colorado Springs. He was caught by U.S. Marshal's and taken back to Louisiana the same day the rape occurred
Now that police have linked Palmer to the rape, they say the young victim can start having some closure. "This little girl is an inspiring person." explains Sgt. Velasquez, "She did nothing wrong in this case and she's been fantastic this entire investigation." Leonard Palmer will be extradited back to Colorado where he's now facing charges of kidnapping and sex assault on a child.



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