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Man sentenced over 20 years after raping St. Paul woman

ST. PAUL — An Illinois man who raped a woman inside her apartment blocks from St. Paul’s Cafe Latte more than 20 years ago was finally sentenced Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Robert Bradfield, 40, was sentenced in Ramsey County District Court to about 18 years in prison on one count of criminal sexual conduct.

The term is longer than recommended by state sentencing guidelines, but Ramsey County District Judge George Stephenson decided Bradfield deserved more because of the particularly egregious invasion of privacy Bradfield’s victim suffered by being attacked in her own home.

Bradfield will serve the time concurrent with the sentence he’s already serving on a rape case out of Wayne County, Mich., according to court records.

Bradfield was convicted there in the spring of 2017 on first and third-degree criminal sexual conduct counts as well as one count of kidnapping.

His record also includes burglary, domestic assault and aggravated battery and robbery.

His victim in the St. Paul case did not attend his sentencing Tuesday. Bradfield declined to address the court when he was given a chance to speak.

It was the summer of 1998 when Bradfield offered to help the woman fix her phone, according to court records.

The two had met earlier that evening when the woman was outside talking with a group of friends and Bradfield approached them and joined in the conversation.

When the woman mentioned that her phone was broken, Bradfield offered to follow her to her nearby apartment and fix it.

Once inside, he tried to kiss her. When the woman denied his advances, Bradfield raped her and then fled.

The woman was taken to Regions Hospital for a sexual assault examination and a vaginal swab, but for reasons not entirely clear, the DNA collected sat idle for nearly 15 years, according to St. Paul police.

About four months after it finally arrived for testing at the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in 2014, authorities matched it to a convicted felon in Illinois: Bradfield.

The felon had a tattoo on his arm that said “Rhea,” just as the St. Paul woman had told police she saw on her attacker years prior.

The woman is now 50 and still lives in the Twin Cities, according to authorities.

Police said she was “shocked” when she learned that they finally charged the man who raped her, nearly two decades later.

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