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Man arrested in 1995 rape of Las Vegas child

Advances in DNA testing have led to the cold case arrest of a man accused of raping a Las Vegas child as she walked home from school a quarter-century ago.

Matthew Laycock, 58, was booked at the Clark County Detention Center Tuesday on two charges of sex assault of a child under the age of 16. A Las Vegas police arrest report for Laycock indicates the arrest stems from the rape of a girl who was attacked as she walked home from school on Nov. 29, 1995.

Police blacked out the location and age of the child in Laycock’s arrest report.

Police said the man walked up to the youth, put his arm around her and said “If you do anything stupid, I’ll kill you.” The assailant then led the child to a breezeway adjacent to a church and sexually abused her. Police gathered physical evidence from the victim, but the case went unsolved.

“With advances in science, specifically DNA, and as part of a nationwide Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (the victim’s) sexual assault kit was analyzed for DNA evidence in 2019,” police wrote in Laycock’s arrest report.

In March of 2019 police said they successfully retrieved a man’s DNA from the evidence in the cold case. In June of 2019 police matched the DNA profile to Laycock’s, and the case was reopened and assigned to cold case detectives. Police attempted to locate Laycock and learned he was homeless. They found him on Monday in Las Vegas in the 4200 block of Skyview Drive, near Lamb and Charleston boulevards. He was briefly hospitalized and police obtained another DNA sample from him.

Laycock denied sexually assaulting anyone, according to his arrest report. He declined to talk to police and asked for an attorney.

Las Vegas Justice Court records show a preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for May 20.

Contact Glenn Puit by email at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter.

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