A rape trial scheduled to begin today for an Elizabethtown man linked to a pair of rape cases through the state’s Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence kits has been postponed until April 20.

Thaddeus Jernell Ar­tis, 38, was charged in April for an alleged 2011 rape in Elizabeth­town. A motion to continue his case to April 20, 2020, was approved by Hardin Circuit Court Judge Ken Howard following a request by defense attorney Mark Rice, who is represen­ting Artis.

Artis was indicted earlier this year on Class A felony charges of first-degree rape – incapable of consent/physically helpless and first-degree sodomy – forcible compulsion. He also was indicted for intimidating a participant in the legal process and first-degree persistent felony offender.

In another court filing in the case, the first-degree rape charge has been amended to a Class B felony of first-degree rape – incapable of consent/physically, punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

The motion was filed by Dana M. Todd, assistant attorney general.

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.

Artis 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 incapable of consent/physically helpless and again was linked to that case through the kits.

“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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