A soldier from Fort Bragg has allegedly been connected to a brutal 2013 rape in the Houston area in which the assailant attacked the 16-year-old victim with an axe.
Levi Austin Goss, 24, was arrested last Friday on a fugitive warrant. He is expected to be extradited to Texas to face charges of kidnapping and sexual assault.
According to the warrant, the teenage victim told police that she had a fight with her parents on February 5, 2013. She said that she left the home and was walking around at night when she was attacked from behind by a masked man wielding an axe.
The assailant allegedly hit the teen on the head with the blunt side of the axe blade, according to the warrant.
Then, the warrant states, the man dragged her to a field. He allegedly stripped her naked and sexually assaulted her before striking her again with the axe. The girl allegedly played dead while the attacker ran away. She then ran for help.
In a press conference announcing Goss’s arrest, Lieutenant Jerry Philpot of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said that the victim is still dealing with the aftermath of her attack. “This individual was brutally assaulted that night,” Philpot told reporters Tuesday in announcing Goss’ arrest. “The complainant suffered life-threatening injuries. And to this day she still deals with lingering effects of the incident.”
According to Philpot, Goss enlisted in the army in 2016. Everyone who enlists in the military gives a DNA sample, but it is not added to the national database unless they are accused of a crime. Philpot told reporters that Goss was investigated for a sexual assault in 2017. His DNA was allegedly uploaded to the national database at that time.
“It was probably less than 30 days before the Department of Defense notified the authorities here,” Philpot told reporters, according to WRAL.
Investigators later matched Goss’s DNA to a sample recovered from the victim.
In 2013, a worker at a gas station near the attack told investigators that a man entered the station with blood on a gray shirt. He changed into a white shirt in the bathroom, telling employees that he had been involved in a fight. He left the bloody shirt behind. Philpot says that the worker has identified Goss as the man who changed shirts.
In a statement, Ft. Bragg officials say that they are working with the police.
“Private First Class Levi Goss, an 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooer, is in civilian confinement,” the statement reads. “He is under investigation by civilian law enforcement for an allegation that predates his military service by three years. The 82nd Airborne Division was made aware of this allegation last week and immediately began cooperating with civilian law enforcement in this matter.
Goss is being held on $1 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea, and it is unclear whether he has retained an attorney.