Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (Sept. 24) announced it secured a guilty plea and 35-year prison sentence for a Louisiana state prison inmate linked by DNA evidence to six unsolved cold-case rapes committed in New Orleans in 1986-87.
Alfred Berry, 52, pleaded guilty Sept. 6 to six counts of second-degree rape and six counts of second-degree kidnapping, as part of a plea agreement before ad hoc Criminal District Judge Dennis Waldron. Waldron imposed a prison sentence of 35 years upon Berry on Sept. 20 after hearing impact statements from several of the serial rapist’s victims.
Berry already is serving a 99-year sentence for a 1988 armed robbery conviction, but was anticipating being eligible for parole release in September 2037. The new sentence was ordered to be served concurrent and coterminous to his armed robbery term, with credit for time served dating only to the date of indictment (March 22, 2018).
Assistant District Attorneys Mary Glass and Naomi Jones of the OPDA’s SAKI unit prosecuted the case. The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative pursues justice for unsolved cases by comparing DNA evidence collected in rape examination kits with newly acquired genetic samples of arrested or convicted subjects.
In Berry’s case, DNA evidence linked him to six New Orleans sexual assaults occurring between July 26, 1986-March 29, 1987. Berry stood trial for two additional rapes in 1988, but was found not guilty at trial. He cannot be re-tried for those offenses, even though new DNA results not available at the time proved him the beneficiary of at least one wrongful acquittal.
“This defendant viciously preyed upon several New Orleans women three decades ago,” Cannizzaro said. “But through scientific advancement and the relentless work of our SAKI team, he now has been held accountable and most of his victims had their chance to confront him about the damage he inflicted on their lives.
“It is heartbreaking that one of his victims took her own life years ago, distraught over her attack and the failure of two juries to convict her assailant. We honor her memory while joining the surviving victims in relief that they finally have seen justice done.”
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