A Chattanooga man was arrested in Georgia last week on child rape charges after a nearly three-year-long investigation.
Floyd King, 62, is accused of raping a girl beginning when she was 12 years old, according to Hamilton County court records. He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Monday.
Despite a 2016 interview with the teenage girl and potential DNA evidence linking the suspect to her child, law enforcement limitations kept King from being arrested until last week.
"The investigative process for child sexual assault cases are significantly more complex and take a considerably longer amount of time than a typical criminal investigation," Chattanooga police spokeswoman Elisa Myzal said. "Adding to the complexity and time line was the lack of lab services to conduct the necessary paternity test."
The girl initially reported the abuse in June 2016, when she was 14 years old, after realizing that her 3-month-old son wasn't her boyfriend's child, court records show. At the time, she was living in a separate, secure location away from the suspect.
The girl told social workers that King, who was friendly with a family member, had been assaulting her since she was 12 years old and had sex with her at least five different times, the last of which was nine months before her son was born, court records state.
That seems to be where the 2016 investigation came to a halt, according to court records.
Chattanooga police Special Victims Unit investigator Jasin Holmes was originally assigned to the case but "did nothing" with it, investigator Damarise Goehring wrote in King's criminal affidavit.
Goehring took over the case in June 2018 after Holmes transferred out of SVU to join the department's fugitive division.
What Goehring didn't know was that, following a Child Protection Investigative Team review, Holmes was instructed to obtain DNA swabs from King in order to get a paternity test done, according to a statement from the Chattanooga Police Department.
However, the TBI does not conduct paternity testing and neither does Juvenile Court. And at that time, no local labs provided the service for criminal cases.
But Holmes didn't document that in the case file, so when Goehring took over the case, she was unable to locate sufficient documentation to explain why the case was still open, the statement read.
The SVU captain was made aware of the lack of documentation this week and has since opened a chain of command investigation to determine why it wasn't noted, Myzal said.
A chain of command investigation is similar to an internal affairs investigation, but deals with less egregious allegations.
At any rate, when Goehring took over the case, she asked the girl's guardian if she still wanted to pursue charges. The woman said she did, so Goehring obtained a warrant for King's DNA to compare to the girl's son.
But there was difficulty locating King. So when Goehring learned he may be working in Georgia, she reached out to the Chickamauga Police Department on June 19, 2018, and got a Georgia warrant for King's DNA.
King was located about a week later and police were able to get a DNA sample.
But because there was no lab that could conduct a criminal paternity test, the case remained open for another nine months.
It wasn't until late March of this year that a local lab contacted Goehring to let her know they had started conducting paternity testing for criminal cases, court records show.
The swabs were submitted and on April 15, and the results determined that King is indeed the boy's father, court records state.
Warrants for rape of a child and aggravated sexual battery were obtained that same day, and King was arrested at his place of work in Georgia two days later on April 17. He was then transferred to the Hamilton County Jail on Monday.