Rape Investigation: What it Took to Catch Arthur Henderson
The combined work of four police departments and the FBI was critical in getting the convicted rapist off of the streets.
Arthur Henderson sits in the Allegheny County Jail awaiting sentencing on March 26 for raping and robbing two women in Ross Township and one in Hopewell during a three-day period in January of last year.
His conviction Monday was the culmination of hundreds of hours of investigative work, primarily by Ross and Hopewell police.
"This is a case that exemplifies the importance of cooperation in the criminal justice system," said Ross Detective Brian Kohlhepp, who was one of the witnesses for the prosecution. "The investigation was completed seamlessly with the assistance of the detectives from Ohio Township and Hopewell."
Kohlhepp said the office of the Allegheny County Medical Examiner played a key role in getting Henderson in custody just days after the last assault.
"The assistance we received from Dr. Karl Williams and the Office of the Medical Examiner to process the DNA evidence immediately was invaluable and made it possible to get an arrest warrant for Arthur Henderson so quickly," he said.
"We additionally received assistance from the Pittsburgh Police Department with intelligence and background of Arthur Henderson and further assistance from their SWAT team and the FBI to locate and take him into custody in the Hill District."
Kohlhepp said prosecution of the case was textbook.
"Deputy District Attorney Laura Ditka is clearly among the best in her profession," he said.
Ditka had high praise for the victims, who had to endure cross-examination by Henderson, who represented himself during the trial.
"These women did an outstanding job," she said. "Testifying to the person that assaulted you is so traumatic. They deserve all the credit, as do the police."
Ditka applauded the women for keeping their cool when they testified under cross-examination by Henderson, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
"It was extraordinarily troubling for them. They all reacted visibly," she said.
Kohlhepp said he couldn't agree more, but also wanted to give credit to Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.
"They do an amazing job," he said. "They provide advocates to attend all court proceedings with the victims. PAAR also does counseling services and education to prevent victimization plus they will provide victim advocate (for court) services to any victim of a sexual assault."
Kohlhepp said the entire effort earned praise from the judge in the case, Allegheny County Common Pleas President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.
Before adjourning court, Judge McDaniel said, "This really was extraordinary police work, and I think the record should reflect that."
Please help us get to 1,000 Facebook “likes” by clicking here and “liking” us.
Check out some of today's other top stories here.