NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An accused serial rapist was indicted Thursday by an Orleans Parish Grand Jury.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office secured the indictment of accused serial rapist Daniel Meridy who linked by DNA results to the sexual assaults of at least eight women in two states.
Meridy was charged with five counts of aggravated/first-degree rape and five counts of aggravated kidnapping in the 10-count indictment. Each of the 10 counts is punishable by a mandatory lifetime prison sentence.
Meridy’s bond from $2 million to $7.5 million after the indictment was read.
Meridy, 35, has been linked by DNA results to the five New Orleans rapes for which he is charged that occurred between June 2015-October 2018 in Treme and Central City.
His DNA profile also has matched evidence recovered from the rapes of three other women in Kansas City, Mo., which occurred in 2004-05. Meridy has told authorities he lived in Kansas City between 2002-15, before returning to his native New Orleans.
The New Orleans cases involve five women who were abducted at gunpoint or knifepoint, then taken to secluded locations or abandoned properties where they were raped. The incidents occurred:
· In the 1800 block of Bayou Road, around 9 p.m. on June 7, 2015;
· In the 600 block of South Genois Street, around 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2016;
· Near the corner of Washington Avenue and Clara Street, around 9 p.m. on Sept. 21, 2016;
· In the 2200 block of Fourth Street, around 11:45 p.m. on June 10, 2018;
· In the 2400 block of South Johnson Street, around 2 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2018.
NOPD sex crimes detective Kevin Richardson, tasked to DNA-related cold cases under the department's SAKI grant (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative), took up the investigation last September after being notified that the same unknown DNA profile had been found in the first four unsolved New Orleans cases.
In one of those attacks, a victim had reported a license plate that Richardson eventually traced to Meridy. The detective obtained a search warrant for a buccal swab of Meridy’s cheek last Dec. 6, and the resulting DNA profile matched all five New Orleans cases. Meridy has remained in custody since his arrest on Dec. 10.
Once Meridy’s DNA profile was uploaded into the federal database, the match to three similar unsolved Kansas City cases also came to light.
Meridy has not yet been charged by Kansas City authorities.