Inmate indicted for Uptown rape from 30 years ago

Dwayne Lewis photograph provided by Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office

NEW ORLEANS — Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced the indictment of a man in connection with a rape case from 30 years ago.

According to the DA’s office, the rape happened at about 4:30 in the morning on May 29, 1988, in the 900 block of Pine Street.  Prosecutors say an 18-year-old woman was sleeping when the attacker entered the home through a window.  They say the man demanded money, and when the woman said she didn’t have any, he ordered her to undress then attacked her.

The suspect is identified as 47-year-old Dwayne Lewis who is currently serving time at the Winn Correctional Center in Winnfield.  Prosecutors say Lewis was serving a 50 year sentence for a 1989 conviction on attempted rape and attempted burglary charges.  They say Lewis was released in 2014 but had his parole was revoked because he failed to register as a sex offender after moving to Arkansas.

The DA’s office says that Lewis’ fingerprints were found on the 1988  rape victim’s jewelry box.  But it was DNA evidence that also helped secure the indictment.

Cannizzaro’s office says its SAKI (Sexual Assault Kit Initiative) put together the evidence and brought it in front of a grand jury.  The unit was created last October.  The DA’s office say so far it has indicted 17 people.

Although Lewis currently sits in jail on the 1989 conviction, his bond in the cold case was set at $1 million.  Prosecutors say he will receive a mandatory life sentence if convicted on the new aggravated rape charge.