LIVE

After a rape kit was tested in 2017 as part of $2 million grant to reduce the backlog of kits sitting on warehouse shelved, a match was reported in February

By Elaine Aradillas
March 18, 2020 02:39 PM
Advertisement
Donnie Michael Willis Jr.
Credit: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office

A Portland man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday. He was identified as a suspect in a 2007 rape case after a sexual assault kit was tested last year, according to multiple reports.

Donnie Willis, Jr., pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and sodomy of a 31-year-old woman; the incident occurred on May 27, 2007, according to court records reported by The Oregonian newspaper.

Willis, who was already in prison for a hit-and-run case, as reported by TV station KATU, was linked to the rape case after DNA test results in February identified Willis.

“When you don’t know the offender, you really do need to be testing that kit ASAP,” Danielle Tudor, an advocate for rape kit reform, told the TV station.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office provided a $2 million grant for three Oregon counties so they could collectively test more than 2,500 rape kits, which was nearly half of the state’s backlog, according to the Oregonian.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

After the rape kit involving Willis was tested in 2017, a match to Willis’ DNA was reported in February.

His case was the seventh conviction in Multnomah County after it renewed efforts to test sexual assault kits that had been part of a backlog of kits sitting on warehouse shelves for years, according to a report in the Associated Press.