Curtesy: Winston-Salem Police
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- Robert Arthur Pace was convicted of raping a 7-year-old girl in 1989.
Pace was sentenced to life in prison plus another 10 years on an additional sexual offense.
56-year-old Robert Arthur Pace was found guilty on Thursday in Forsyth County.
Detective Lovejoy with Winston-Salem Police told WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford that a DNA match from the rape kit performed in 1989 cracked the case.
"You've a got a 7-year-old that doesn't quite understand about the birds and the bees and then having someone actually come in and physically violate her body like that and then growing up not understanding exactly what happened," said Detective Shelley Lovejoy.
Lovejoy obtained a search warrant to get Pace's DNA sample this past June. That's because in 2005 the State Bureau of Investigation put the DNA from this unsolved rape case in the CODIS system. Prior to 2005, the SBI wouldn't sample rape kits that didn't have a suspect.
By 2007, CODIS linked Pace's DNA to the rape case. He was charged by Winston-Salem Police in 2009.
"I think she was very relieved to know that there was finally some resolution to her case," said Lovejoy.
WFMY News 2, Winston-Salem Police