Sex offender gets 20 years for rape in Cayce, caught using DNA profile

From the Eleventh Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

After a trial this week in the County of Lexington, repeat sex offender Rodney Jerome Furtick, 51, received the maximum sentence of 20 years incarceration.

The trial began on Monday and concluded late Wednesday afternoon when the jury returned a guilty verdict of Criminal Sexual Conduct – Second Degree. This crime is classified under South Carolina law as a violent crime and a “no parole” offense. The sentence was imposed by Circuit Court Judge Frank R. Addy, Jr.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Solicitor Rhonda Patterson and Deputy Solicitor Suzanne Mayes. Senior Assistant Solicitor Rhonda Patterson stated, “Our work to protect the citizens of our community remains our key focus. In this case, this defendant has repeatedly preyed upon vulnerable victims.” Patterson further commented, “The victim in this case demonstrated remarkable courage and this sentence delivers the justice that she deserves.”

The Cayce Department of Public Safety began an investigation on the night of Nov. 18, 2015 when they received a call of a sexual assault in the Julius Felder Street area of Cayce. Upon arrival, officers located a 20-year-old victim who reported that she had been sexually assaulted in her home. The victim had been home alone with her one-year-old child.

The victim was immediately referred to the Prisma Health Richland Hospital for a sexual assault examination in which evidence was collected and sent to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for forensic analysis.

During the trial, a sexual assault nurse examiner testified regarding the evidence collection process. SLED agents from the state crime lab also testified regarding the lengthy process of their serology and DNA analysis in the case. In 2016, SLED developed a DNA profile from the evidence recovered during the victim’s sexual assault exam. The DNA profile was entered into the SLED CODIS database and was a match to Rodney Furtick, a registered sex offender.

As a result of the CODIS database hit, the Cayce DPS obtained a search warrant for DNA swabs from Furtick. In 2017, those swabs were tested by SLED and determined to be a DNA match to the evidence from the sexual assault kit and the victim’s clothing.

The victim testified during the trial regarding the sexual assault and the threats made against her by Furtick. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Addy heard details regarding Furtick’s extensive criminal history. Furtick’s prior record includes a conviction for Committing a Lewd Act Upon a Child in 1988. This crime placed Furtick on the Sex Offender Registry. Furtick also has convictions for Assault and Battery of a High and Aggravated Nature in 2006; Burglary – Third degree in 2010; and two counts of Assault and Battery – 2nd degree in 2012. In addition, Furtick has numerous convictions for drug offenses and larcenies.

The case was investigated by Lt. Jason Merrill and Sgt. John Reese of Cayce DPS. At sentencing, Lt Merrill requested that Furtick receive the maximum sentence based upon his prior record of violence and the multiple crimes he has committed in the Cayce area.

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