CLEVELAND – Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley announced that the defendant Leo Bradley Scott III, 61, pleaded guilty for the sexual assaults of two women in 1994 and 1998. The arrest was the result of the efforts of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Office’s G.O.L.D. Unit (Genetic Operations Linking DNA).

“This sexual predator deserves to be held accountable for his actions. This arrest was led by the G.O.L.D. Unit, and I am proud of their work which uses genealogical research to solve these violent crimes against the most vulnerable victims.”

Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley

On October 14, 1994, the female victim, 22, was walking eastbound on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland when she was approached by Leo Bradley Scott III. He grabbed her from behind and dragged her near East 118th Street, strangled her, threatened to kill her, and then sexually assaulted her. Afterward, Scott fled the scene. The victim called the police and was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

On April 18, 1998, a second unrelated female victim, 26, was at a club in East Cleveland with friends and family. The victim left the club and was walking home when Leo Bradley Scott III drove up and offered her a ride. When she declined, Scott pulled her into his car, drove to a parking lot on Shaw Avenue, and then sexually assaulted her. The victim called police and was transported to the hospital where a sexual assault kit was collected.

It should be noted that in 1983, this defendant was convicted on rape in Cuyahoga County, which occurred prior to the use of the felony DNA database. As a result, his DNA was not in the database.

In 2013, the CCPO assembled the SAKTF to address investigative leads that resulted from the testing of previously unsubmitted sexual assault kits primarily between 1993 to 2011. The victim’s sexual assault kit was tested by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) as part of the initiative. However, Scott’s DNA did not produce any matches in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) – the FBI’s national DNA database. Scott’s DNA profile – unknown at the time – was then indicted as “John Doe #64” as a means to ensure that the statute of limitations did not run out.

In 2019 and 2020, the CCPO’s SAKTF was awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ). Part of that funding helped launch the office’s G.O.L.D. Unit in October 2020.  The G.O.L.D. Unit contracted with Gene By Gene for a pilot project that included genealogical searches for 20 DNA profiles connected to cold case sexual assaults. These 20 “Most Wanted” profiles were carefully selected after an extensive review process that considered serial offenders, stranger sexual assaults, and other relevant facts of each case.

The DNA profile for “John Doe #64” was submitted as part of the project. DNA analysts and investigative genetic genealogists were able to connect “John Doe #64’s” DNA profile to that of Leo Bradley Scott III.

Investigators then surreptitiously obtained Scott’s DNA and sent it to BCI to be tested. The tests confirmed that the DNA in the victim’s sexual assault kit matched that of Scott. The original “John Doe #64” indictment was amended to reflect his name as the defendant and an arrest warrant was issued. On July 20, 2021, the U.S. Marshals arrested him without incident.

On January 30, 2023, Leo Bradley Scott III pleaded guilty to the following charges:

  • One count of Rape
  • One count of Sexual Battery

He will be sentenced on March 1st at 10 a.m.