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William Couch Pleads Guilty in Connection to 25-Year Old Cold Cases

Man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for each case, which involved sex assaults in 1989 in Arlington.

William Couch; photo courtesy of Arlington County Police Dept.
William Couch; photo courtesy of Arlington County Police Dept.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division has closed two 25-year old unsolved cases, after William Couch pled guilty to abduction with intent to defile and object sexual penetration, the police department said Thursday in a news release.

Theophani K. Stamos, Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney and M. Douglas Scott, Arlington County’s Chief of Police made the announcement following Couch’s plea.

On May 9, 1989, a female victim went to bed leaving her door unlocked. During the night, a male suspect entered her residence and sexually assaulted her. He then robbed the victim of cash and fled the scene. Police did not give any address for the crime.

On Sept. 11, 1989, a second female victim arrived at work early for her shift. She was grabbed from behind and forced into the maintenance room, where she was choked and raped by the perpetrator. After the rape, the suspect fled in an unknown direction. Police did not say where in Arlington the business was located.

In January of 2013, cold case detectives reviewed evidence from these cases and in June of 2013, William Couch became a suspect. On Feb. 17, Couch was indicted on charges in connection to these assaults.  On June 12, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 45 years on each case. Police did not say what the evidence was that led them to Couch.

Deputy Chief Daniel J. Murray, Commander of the Criminal Investigations Division, stated, “Once again the value of a having a Cold Case Squad has been proven as we were able to bring some closure to two victims while bringing this sexual predator to justice.”

These cases were investigated by Master Police Officers Robert Icolari and Rosa Ortiz and prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cari M. Steele. 

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