Genealogy services

Sexual assault suspect in 1987 case impersonating radio DJ: Police

FAIRFAX, VA – Fairfax County police arrested William Clark, 59, of Ashburn, in connection with the 1987 abduction and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl outside a Fairfax City radio station.

“There is no end game for people who commit crimes like this in our community,” Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Maj. Ed O’Carroll, chief of the FCPD’s Major Crimes, Cybercrime and Forensics Bureau, said the new DNA technology helped police identify Clark as the suspect in the case. After receiving positive identification from a DNA sample obtained in February, police arrested Clark on Monday.

“It’s a testament to modern technology, very specifically genetic genealogy research, the latest, greatest iteration of DNA analysis that allows us to solve cases like this,” Davis said.

Police say that in 1987, Clark called the victim’s mother at her workplace, identifying herself as a local radio personality. He convinced the victim’s mother that if the victim went to a radio station in Fairfax City, she would be eligible to win $1,000 and a trip to Hawaii, police said.

“It was a popular radio trend in the ’80s that generated listeners and it’s a way to give away prizes,” O’Carroll said.

Police say the call was a ruse and that Clark had no connection to the radio station or the radio industry.

The victim’s mother shared her home number and contact information with Clark, who was a 24-year-old Herndon resident at the time of the assault, police said. He then called the teenage victim at her home and convinced her to meet at the radio station on March 6, 1987, police said.

“The victim arrived at the radio station and was lured into Clark’s vehicle with the promise of a prize,” O’Carroll said.

Clark then drove the victim to a wooded area in Fairfax County and sexually assaulted her, police said. During the assault, Clark implied he had a gun, authorities say. Afterwards, the victim immediately reported the incident to the police.

DNA evidence collected by Fairfax County in 1987 and held for more than three decades was used to identify Clark as a strong person of interest on Jan. 3, police said.

“Using this new technology in mid-February, our detectives requested a DNA sample from Clark, and we sent it to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science,” O’Carroll said. “The DNA sample we collected matched DNA evidence collected in 1987.”

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis holds up a poster that helped identify 59-year-old William Clark as a suspect in a 1987 kidnapping and sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl. (Michael O’Connell/Patch)

Clark was charged on Monday with rape, kidnapping with intent to defile and attempted forced sodomy. He is currently being held without bail at the Fairfax Count Adult Detention Center.

During the press conference, Davis held up a wanted poster with a sketch and details of the man wanted in the 1987 assault.

“Here we are over 35 years later, 3 1/2 decades later, now saying justice has been served for the perpetrator who committed this vicious, vicious crime on a 14-year-old girl,” Davis said.

The FCPD Victim Services team will continue to work with the victim, who is no longer in the area.

“This case happened a long time ago, but there may be more survivors,” O’Carroll said. “So give us a call if you have any information about this case or if you think years or decades ago you met this offender. We want to hear from you.”

The Major Crimes Team can be reached by calling 703-246-7800, option 8.