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Rape survivor and advocate 'heartbroken' after police take 6 years to arrest rape suspect

A prosecutor says Curtis Clinton Williams, also known as Clint, raped and sexually assaulted a woman repeatedly at the Hotel Alder in Portland in September of 2011. Williams was not arrested in the case until last week.

A rape survivor and victim advocate told KATU she's heartbroken after Portland police took nearly six years to make an arrest in a rape case.

Court records show officers knew the name of suspect, a registered sex offender, soon after the crime was reported.

"It's really hard to accept and stomach really why they didn't move forward at the time of the assault," said Danielle Tudor, a member of the Portland Police Bureau and Oregon governor's task forces to track progress on testing the state's backlog of rape kits.

The suspect, 63-year-old Curtis Clinton Williams, also known as Clint, was convicted of rape in 1986.

In court records, Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt says a young woman KATU is calling "Michelle" first met Williams at a TriMet ticket machine in downtown Portland in September of 2011. KATU is not revealing the alleged victim's real name.

After riding the MAX with Williams across the river and back, Girt says Michelle went with him to his room at the Alder Hotel.

Girt says Michelle was scared but Williams "was very persistent despite her telling him 'No' that she did not want to go to his place."

Once inside, Girt says Williams raped and sexually assaulted Michelle repeatedly, making her promise not to tell anyone by swearing on a copy of the Bible.

But once she got away, Girt says Michelle immediately called police and went to the hospital where a sexual assault examination was completed.

Girt says Michelle gave police Williams' first name and phone number.

"Based on that information, coupled with the location of the hotel room where the assault occurred (the Alder Hotel Apartments)," Girt explains in her report, "the officer was able to determine that the suspect was defendant Curtis Clinton Williams."

But Girt says Michelle's rape kit was not sent to a lab for testing until last year.

Police said Williams was arrested last week after results from the test linked him to the case.

"That's just not acceptable," said Tudor. "If this woman reported it, had a rape kit done and they knew that it was a registered sex offender that committed the crime, this should have moved forward back in 2011."

A police spokesman would not tell KATU why officers did not make an arrest or submit the rape kit for testing in 2011.

In 2015, officers said the PPB received grant money to start testing and investigating cases stemming from 1,754 untested rape kits. They said the first shipment of untested kits was sent off to be tested in April of last year.

"It just breaks my heart because she's not the only one," said Tudor.

Last year, Gov. Kate Brown signed into law Melissa's Bill, which is named after a 14-year-old killed by a serial rapist on her way to school in 2001.

In that case, sexual assault kits from at least two other young teens raped by the girl's killer four years earlier sat untested until detectives investigating her death submitted them to a lab.

The bill directs police agencies across Oregon and state police to adopt rules for collection, submission for testing and retention of the kits. All kits must be stored for 60 years.

Tudor was one of the key supporters of the bill.

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