An Elizabethtown man linked to a pair of rape cases through the state’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kits makes his final pre-trial conference appearance today in Hardin Circuit Court prior to a December trial date.

Thaddeus Jernell Artis, 38, was charged in April for an alleged 2011 rape in Elizabethtown. He is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 2.

He was indicted earlier this year for first-degree rape – forcible compulsion; first-degree sodomy – forcible compulsion; intimidating a participant in the legal process; and first-degree persistent felony offender. If convicted of either Class A felony charges, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

The Kentucky Attorney General’s office began investigating the 2011 sexual assault and assumed prosecution in September. DNA from the case’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evi­dence kit subsequently matched that from a backlogged rape kit, which led to the indictment, according to a news release by the attorney general’s office.

“Obviously, it was a prolonged investigation,” Elizabethtown Police Department Detective Madison Kuklinski previously said. She said the victim no longer lives in Elizabethtown but remains in Kentucky.

He also is charged and indicted on a rape accusation from Feb. 27, 2014, in Radcliff. He was indicted on one count of first-degree rape against someone physically helpless and again was linked to that case through the kits.

That case is not part of the Dec. 2 trial.

“In both cases against this alleged serial offender, we have been grateful for the assistance of multiple agencies, in­clud­ing the Hardin Coun­ty Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Rad­cliff Police De­part­ment, Elizabethtown Police Department and Kentucky State Police Central Forensic Laboratory,” Attorney General and Gov.-Elect Andy Beshear said in the news release.

Artis has been lodged since July 18 in the Hardin County Detention Center in lieu of a $100,000 cash bond.

Jeff D’Alessio can be reached at 270-505-1757 or jdalessio@thenewsenterprise.com.

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