Man gets prison for rapes

Idris Rahman

A man who sexually assaulted women in Charleston 10 years ago was sentenced to 25 years behind bars after he was connected through his prison-record DNA.

Idris A. Rahman was in state prison on a strong-arm robbery conviction when his sample linked him to a downtown rape from 2001. The sample was taken under a state program where authorities take DNA from long-term inmates as their sentences are ending. The results then are compared with other crimes and suspects.

Rahman, 32, pleaded Thursday to charges that he attacked three female victims. The crimes had gone unsolved for most of the past decade until Rahman was about to be set free in late 2007. He has been in custody for most of the last phree years.

Under a plea agreement, Rahman pleaded to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of kidnapping, one count of burglary and one count of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature. Rahman entered an Alford plea where, under state law, the accused does not acknowledge guilt but concedes there is enough evidence to convict. For practical purposes, he is considered guilty on all charges in the eyes of the law.

One of the victims reported that Rahman came to her College of Charleston housing unit in November 2000. He forced his way inside, demanded money and sexually assaulted the woman. In an assault in January 2001, he followed an employee at a local inn, attacking her inside the property.

The other attack came about two weeks later when he approached a woman from behind on King Street, telling her, "I have a gun. Do what I say. Don't look around or I will kill you." He raped the woman.

One of the victims told Circuit Judge Deadra Jefferson she had lost her "sense of security" since being victimized.

Managing Assistant Solicitor Jennifer Shealy said Rahman was a growing threat to all women on downtown Charleston streets. "His conduct escalated with each subsequent incident," she said.