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DNA from backlogged PERK kit links Reynolds Metals heir to Florida rape

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ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. -- Court documents in Alleghany County, Virginia show an heir to the Reynolds Metals fortune, who grew up in Henrico's West End and was convicted of rape in Chesterfield in 1986, has been connected to another rape in Florida nearly 20 years ago.

The court records show the Lee County Sheriff's Office in Florida now considers Cornelious Francis Florman a suspect in a rape that occurred on June 22, 1998 in Fort Myers Beach.

According to a "DNA match data response offender match" record from November of 2016, Florman's DNA matched the foreign DNA profile collected by a physical evidence recovery kit (PERK) from the woman that was raped in 1998.

The PERK kit was tested after a recent effort to address a backlog of physical evidence recovery kits from sexual assault cases.

Florman was charged with raping a Henrico County woman back in 1986 in her wealthy neighborhood near the University of Richmond.

Cornelious Francis Florman

The alleged rape caused women in the neighborhood to live in fear, and law enforcement sources said Florman was suspected of several other sexual assaults in the county in the 1980s.

At the time, Florman would have been in his early 20s.

A judge declared a mistrial in the case, and Florman was never found guilty of the crime, but in a civil trial the woman won and received 8.5 million dollars.

Just a month after the alleged Henrico rape, a man pushed through the door of a woman's home in Chesterfield's Bon Air neighborhood, punched her in the stomach, shoved something down her throat, and raped her.

She told police he told her afterwards "maybe I shouldn't have done this, but you're a good looking lady and I'm leaving now."

The woman who owns the house where it happened told CBS 6 Problem Solver investigator Melissa Hipolit that her brother chased down the suspect's van after the rape, which led to Florman's arrest.

A jury convicted Florman of rape in November of 1986 and sentenced him to five years in prison.

Then in 1994, a jury convicted Florman of exposing his genitals inside a Henrico department store, and sentenced him to one year behind bars.

Florman has remained under the radar since then, until this DNA match was found in November of 2016.

In that case, the 44-year-old victim told police a man asked her for a ride off the beach and then struck her in the face causing her to become unconscious.

When she awoke, the man raped her.

Her attacker was never caught, but now investigators are calling Florman a suspect and collected cheek swabs from him.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the case other than to say it is active and ongoing.

If you look up Florman on the Virginia sex offender registry search tab, you will not find him.

That is because the names of people who committed crimes before 1994 are not included.

However, if you click on the supplemental information tab, he will pop up.

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