Alleged Rape Victim Takes Stand In 1992 Cold Case
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A woman’s journey through Pittsburgh’s Municipal Courts Building Thursday became the last steps from the United Kingdom – where she now lives – back to Pittsburgh before she would have to recount a trauma she experienced when she lived in Shadyside in 1992.
The defendant is 61-year-old Arthur Fryar who was living in New York when he was arrested.
His DNA appeared in a national database that set off an alert in two unsolved sex assaults locally, including hers.
On the stand, she had to recount what happened to her back in 1992, recalling his threat to kill her.
“He wanted to do things to me; he wanted me to do things to him. I went along with him because I didn’t want to die,” she testified.
Bill Valenta was the original detective on the case, and eventually was a city police commander. He retired from the force and is now a dean at the University of Pittsburgh.
The victim kept tabs on the case, reconnected with him, and he accompanied her to Thursday’s hearing.
“So, she asked me if I would be there at the hearing, and of course, the answer was going to be yes,” said Valenta. “This is more about her though; she was so incredibly tenacious through this and Detective Hoban and Detective Campbell did such a remarkable job and this is not easy digging up these old files.”
There’s more DNA testing to be done, but the time that has passed can complicate a trial, according to Fryar’s defense attorney.
“The Pennsylvania legislature has extended the statute of limitations on crimes in three specific areas, one of them being sex crimes,” says attorney Jeffrey Weinberg. “But no court has ruled on this stature since it’s been amended. So, there’s some questions as to what identification means in 1992 and what it might mean now.”
District Judge Tony Ceoffe, though, found enough evidence to hold Fryar for trial. He also increased his bail from $400,000 to $800,000.