UPDATE | Man receives maximum sentence in rape and kidnapping cold case

Frank Thacker of South Point, Ohio, was sentenced to the maximum in a rape and kidnapping cold case in Lawrence County.
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 7/11/19 @ 3:45 p.m.
A man convicted in a rape and kidnapping cold case was sentenced Thursday to the maximum sentence of 30 years, our crew at the scene says.

Frank Thacker, who is in his mid-50s and from South Point, was already serving 27 years for another kidnapping and rape case. The new sentence will be added to the existing sentence.

Investigators say it was a nearly 20-year-old case that was solved by DNA evidence.

Investigators say on Dec. 22, 1999, Thacker forcibly kidnapped a 14-year-old girl near the Lawrence County Airpark and took her to another location and raped her. After the abduction and rape, Thacker released the victim. The victim then reported the sexual assault to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

Court officials say Thacker received the maximum sentence based on the statute when the crime happened in 1999.

Thacker's defense says he will seek an appeal regarding the latest conviction and sentence.



UPDATE 7/10/19 @ 4:35 p.m.
A man already serving time for a kidnapping and rape in Lawrence County was convicted Wednesday in another rape and kidnapping case, Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson said.

After a two-day jury trial, Frank Thacker, who is in his mid-50s and from South Point, was convicted of two counts of rape, one count of abduction and one count of kidnapping.

Investigators say it was a nearly 20-year-old cold case that was solved by DNA evidence.

Thacker is currently serving a 27-year prison sentence as a result of conviction for rape in a 2017 case. The latest charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Investigators say on Dec. 22, 1999, Thacker forcibly kidnapped a 14-year-old girl near the Lawrence County Airpark and took her to another location and raped her. After the abduction and rape, Thacker released the victim. The victim then reported the sexual assault to the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is one of the most heinous kidnapping and rapes that I’ve prosecuted since I’ve been at the prosecutor’s office,” Anderson said in a news release.

In 2018, detectives with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office developed Thacker as a suspect in criminal investigation. A search warrant was obtained for Franks DNA. His DNA was examined by BCI. The standard was uploaded into CODIS, resulting in a match from the 1999 case.

Thacker will be sentenced on the latest conviction at 2 p.m. Thursday.



UPDATE 10/9/18 @ 10:40 p.m.
A man already serving time for a kidnapping and rape in Lawrence County is now preparing for a trial in another case.

When Frank Thacker's DNA was sent to the lab for testing this year, his DNA also hit on a cold case and indicted him on a different rape and kidnapping case from 1999.

Thacker was in court on Tuesday.

The defense made motions to dismiss the case, claiming the statue of limitations had expired.

The prosecution denied that dismissal, maintaining the limitation was 20 years at the time of the crime, but since then has been changed to 25 years.

A judge ordered DNA to be retested and an investigator to be hired.

The next pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 21.



UPDATE 9/5/18 @ 3:55 p.m.
A man found guilty last week of kidnapping and rape was sentenced Wednesday to 27 years in prison, the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office says.

Frank Thacker, 54, also was convicted of a burglary charge. He was sentenced to 11 years on the rape conviction, eight years on the kidnapping conviction, as well as eight years on a burglary conviction. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Thacker is still awaiting trial for a separate case. When Thacker's DNA was sent off to the lab for testing this year, investigators say his DNA hit on a cold case. It resulted in Thacker being indicted on a different rape and kidnapping case that dates back to 1999.

The pretrial date for that cold case rape case is set for Sept. 12. The trial is scheduled Nov. 7.



UPDATE 8/31/18 @ 2:18 p.m.
A jury has convicted a kidnapping rapist in Lawrence County, Ohio.

Frank Thacker, 54, was found guilty this week of rape, burglary, kidnapping, and abduction with a gun. He was indicted in February.

However, he is still awaiting trial for a separate case. When Thacker's DNA was sent off to the lab for testing this year, investigators say his DNA hit on a cold case. It resulted in Thacker being indicted on a different rape and kidnapping case that dates back to 1999.

Officers arrested Thacker on May 24 and charged him with three counts of rape, one count of kidnapping and one count of abduction in connection with the incident that happened on Dec. 22, 1999. Lawrence County Prosecutor Brigham Anderson says that case is set to go to trial in early November.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/30/18
A man has been indicted on charges stemming from a rape and kidnapping case dating back to 1999.

The Lawrence County, Ohio Prosecutor's office says Frank Thacker was indicted on three counts of rape, one count of kidnapping and one count of abduction in connection with an unsolved incident that happened on December 22, 1999.

The prosecutor's office says Thacker was indicted in a separate rape case in February 2018. His DNA was then sent off to the lab to be tested, which resulted in a hit on the cold case.

According to court records, Thacker was arrested May 24 on the cold case indictment.

The prosecutor's office says he is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

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