The work of Attorney General Andy Beshear’s Cold Case Unit, McCracken County prosecutors and local law enforcement has resulted in the indictment of a 45-year-old Louisville man in an alleged 2005 sexual assault of a minor.
Jason Todd Langston was indicted by a McCracken County grand jury on Aug. 24 for first-degree rape; first-degree sodomy; unlawful imprisonment; and intimidating a participant in the legal process. He is being held in the McCracken County Jail on a $70,000 cash bond. His next scheduled court appearance it 9 a.m. CST on Oct. 15.
DNA evidence from the minor’s 2005 Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence or SAFE kit matched a profile associated with Langston, according the AG’s Office, local prosecutors and law enforcement.
The alleged sexual assault occurred in McCracken County in March 2005 and is being investigated by the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office and the Paducah Police Department.
Recent efforts to clear Kentucky’s un-submitted SAFE kits by Beshear, his cold case unit and the investigations by local law enforcement helped Assistant Attorney General Dana Todd secure the Aug. 24 indictment against Langston.
“We are committed to seeking justice for every victim,” Beshear said. “This indictment is one of the first in these efforts to ensure all kits are tested and that investigations are used to prosecute any and all alleged perpetrators.”
Beshear said Langston was arrested Aug. 28 at his home in Louisville on a warrant issued by a McCracken Circuit judge after he was indicted by the grand jury. Langston was arraigned Aug. 30 in McCracken Circuit Court.
Beshear said he appreciates the hard work of local and state law enforcement to continue seeking justice for this victim 13 years later. McCracken County Sheriff Matt Carter and Detective Sarah Martin are handling the case for their office, and from the Paducah Police Department are Chief Brandon Barnhill, Captain Matt Smith and Detective Matthew Scheer. The Kentucky State Police Crime Lab, lab director Laura Sudkamp and Whitney Collins oversaw the processing and analysis of the SAFE kit.
Beshear said McCracken County Commonwealth’s Attorney Dan Boaz and McCracken County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Leigh Ann Dycus were instrumental in working with his office’s cold case unit prosecutor who is assisting the agencies. Boaz, Dycus and members of the cold case unit joined Beshear today for the announcement at the annual Kentucky Prosecutors Conference in Lexington.
“We are fortunate that General Beshear’s office has worked hard to make sure that local law enforcement investigations are completed and that these cases can be tried with crucial evidence,” Boaz said. “This is extremely important to victims, law enforcement and the safety of our communities.”
“When this initiative began, we were optimistic about the outcome, but I do not think any of us realized how big of an impact this would have on the victims and our communities,” Dycus said.
“This investigation is an example of multiple agencies working together toward one common goal while utilizing advanced technologies to ensure justice for all,” Sheriff Carter said.
The Attorney General’s SAKI Cold Case Unit assists cases at every level with an advocate, investigator, prosecutor and coordinator. Beshear said the unit he established last year from a three-year, nearly $3 million U.S Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance grant currently has roughly 10 open investigations.
Cold Case Unit Victims Advocate Molly Cassady is involved in the Langston case.
Beshear joined Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine and Louisville Metro Police in July to announce that a Louisville man was indicted as a result of DNA from a tested SAFE kit.
Seeking justice for victims of sexual assault is one of Beshear’s core missions. In 2016, he provided $4.5 million in settlement money to lawmakers to fund requested Kentucky State Police (KSP) crime lab upgrades and an additional $1 million from the settlement to aid law enforcement and prosecutors in conducting victim-centered investigations and prosecuting sexual assault offenders.
Earlier this month he co-hosted a national workshop for nearly 20 states that are handling the testing of un-submitted SAFE kits and working to investigate and prosecute these cases like Kentucky.