Man gets 37 years in Cole County rape cases

A St. Louis man has been sentenced to 37 years in prison after a Cole County jury convicted him of seven counts in two 2011 rape cases.

Johnny Rucker, 44, was charged with three counts of forcible rape, two counts of forcible sodomy and two counts of felonious restraint.

Authorities said Rucker forced two women on separate days to have sex with him after he asked them for rides outside the former Southern Comfort Bar, 510-A Ellis Blvd.

The first incident occurred in March 2011.

After she picked him up, the victim said, Rucker eventually threatened to kill her.

The two ended up at a parking lot on East Franklin Street where Rucker forced her to have sex, the victim said.

He then dragged her into a nearby empty apartment and raped her again.

After Rucker left her and threw her cellphone out on the street, the victim ran out into the street where a woman stopped to help and took the victim to a hospital.

The second incident occurred in September 2011, when the second victim left the bar to get something for her boyfriend at a nearby convenience store.

After letting Rucker in her vehicle, the woman said Rucker eventually overpowered her and, in the 1000 block of Madison Street, forced her to have sex in the car.

The woman’s boyfriend was continually calling her cellphone and, because it had a Bluetooth hands-free device, the boyfriend could hear what was going on.

Police traced the cellphone and found Rucker with the victim.

Rucker told police the two were just kissing.

Detectives eventually believed the two cases were tied together.

In a photo lineup, the second victim pointed out Rucker as her attacker, and DNA evidence also pointed to him as the attacker.


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