Police: DNA links Norcross man to rape

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett police say a convicted felon went to great lengths to destroy forensic evidence after binding and raping a woman in her apartment but nonetheless has been linked to the attack via DNA.

The assault happened the morning of March 18 at the Bristol Court Apartments off Holcomb Bridge Road near Norcross.

A 28-year-old woman told police she awoke to a masked man standing over her with a gun. Police have said the intruder likely slipped in through an unlocked sliding door.

The man tied the victim up, raped her and, afterwards, collected her clothing and bedding and set them on fire in the victim's bathtub, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith.

"The suspect also disabled the smoke detector," Smith said. "Before fleeing, (he) attempted to clean the victim of any DNA evidence."

The victim eventually managed to untie herself and seek help. Investigators were able to recover DNA evidence at the scene and, with the help of a neighbor who'd seen a suspicious person in the area, a sketch was completed and sent around the complex.

The recovered DNA evidence matched that of a convicted felon named Lorenzo Bradley, who lived in a neighboring building in the same complex, Smith said.

Detectives had their eye on Bradley since a neighbor reported that the sketch looked like him a few days after the attack, Smith said.

"Bradley was approached and identified, however there wasn't enough evidence to charge him at that time," Smith said.

On Friday detectives served warrants at Bradley's apartment. He wasn't home, but turned himself in later that day, Smith said.

Bradley is charged with rape, first-degree arson, burglary, aggravated sodomy, battery, false imprisonment, weapons possession by a convicted felon and criminal trespass. He remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

Information about Bradley's criminal history was not immediately available Tuesday.

Check www.gwinnettdailypost.com for updates.