It was DNA evidence that exonerated one Morris man and it was DNA evidence that led officials to the man who now stands charged with the crime.
Francisco Xolio, 35, of Morris, was indicted by the Grundy County Circuit Court Grand Jury on Tuesday on four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, all Class X felonies; and two counts of criminal sexual assault, both Class 1 felonies.
Xolio was incarcerated shortly after the May 15 sexual assault, but on unrelated charges, Morris Police Chief Brent Dite said.
Investigators now have DNA evidence against Xolio regarding the May 15 incident. His DNA was already in the database, Dite said, and, once tested, it came up as a match.
In May, Morris police took a report of sexual assault from a 36-year-old female. The incident was reported to have occurred about 10 p.m. May 15 in a wooded area near the 1000 block of Park Boulevard, behind Morris Community High School.
Based on the investigation at the time, a different man was arrested, but he was released after DNA evidence cleared him of the crime.
That first man was Ryan Johnson Jr., who was 20 at the time of his arrest May 24 on a sexual assault charge.
Johnson pleaded not guilty in June and was released July 31.
At a press conference in August, Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland said Johnson was arrested based on “credible evidence.” He said he then expected the investigation to be completed within the month and charges filed against the real offender.
During the investigation, a rape kit was retrieved and the Illinois State Police were asked to examine the DNA as soon as possible because Johnson was sitting in jail. As soon as Helland was notified the DNA did not match Johnson, Helland moved to have Johnson released shortly after.
Xolio is due back in court Sept. 10.
Helland did not return calls before press time.