A former Deerfield Beach High School football star was convicted today of the rape of a woman who was attending the University of Illinois, where he also played football. It took the jury less than an hour to find him guilty.
Prosecutors said 42-year-old Steve Feagin raped a UI senior at gunpoint in July 1995, a year after he graduated, and former Illinois police Lt. John Lockard explained in court Monday how a Broward County rape is what led investigators
to Feagin, according to the News-Gazette
DNA evidence from three separate sexual assaults in Illinois matched a 2007 rape case in Pompano Beach, he explained. All three Illinois cases were students who were assaulted near the UI campus, so he guessed that the culprit was an Illinois student from Florida -- he waded through more than 37,000 names to find the Florida students and came up with a list of 54 possible suspects.
Feagin was on the list, and Lockard discovered he was living near two of the victims at the time of the attacks. Eventually, police got a court order for Feagin's DNA, which implicated him in the three Illinois cases and the one in Pompano Beach.
He still faces charges for the other two Illiniois assaults, but the Broward case was dropped last year after the alleged victim started acting strangely, telling police that her ex-boyfriend was the assailant even after police explained that the DNA evidence contradicted that in every way. Police then say she accused the government, saying "the FBI was part of the attack
She also repeatedly changed her story, at one point suddenly remembering her ex-boyfriend's car being outside of her house and saying she'd broken her jaw in the assault, which was demonstrably false. In any case, the only witness in the case had serious credibility issues and wouldn't implicate Feagin in any convincing way, so prosecutors dropped the case, sending him to Illinois last September.
A prosecutor said yesterday it hasn't yet been decided how and when the remaining two cases will proceed. The sentencing in today's conviction is scheduled for July 25.