Nearly 30 years after police say a woman was raped in State College, and was left for dead, a trial date has now been set and DNA evidence is at the heart of the prosecution’s case.
In October of 2021, Scott Williams, of Mifflin County, was arrested and charged with rape, aggravated assault, burglary and five other criminal counts.
The charges are related to what police say happened along a stretch of Pugh Street, in the borough of State College, in May of 1995.
That’s where police say Williams allegedly raped a Penn State student, the night before she was due to graduate, and then left her barely alive in shrubbery next to an apartment building.
Now, a recently signed court order has Williams’ trial scheduled to begin next January, with jury selection shortly beforehand on January 8th of 2024.
Williams denies the charges and since his arrest, his attorneys have not only challenged the validity of the DNA evidence police say links Williams to the crime, but also the legality of the so called “John Doe” warrant used to arrest him.
Police filed that warrant in 2000, with no name of a suspect, just the DNA information.
The presiding judge in the case has also changed Williams’ bail restrictions to allow him to travel outside of Mifflin County for employment opportunities and see one of his sons play college football.
However, the judge also ordered, without specifying why, that Williams is not allowed in Somerset, Blair, Huntingdon, Bedford and Cambria counties; and any stops in Centre County must only be in the case of an emergency.