DNA, Name On Dentures Yield Guilty Plea in Rape Case


  • Shelby County Sheriff's Office
  • Maupin
A man pleaded guilty to rape here Monday after investigators found DNA and a less scientific bit of evidence left on a set of dentures in another case from the city’s backlog of untested rape kits.

Thomas Maupin, 67, entered his plea before Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee, according to Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich’s office. The victim, who was 31 when the rape occurred, did not testify.

Maupin came to Memphis after serving 12 years in Washington state for the 1988 killing of a young girl in Spokane. He was convicted twice and sentenced to 40 years in prison. But the convictions were overturned on appeal.

Maupin approached his rape victim here in August 2001 as she was walking in the 1200 block of Thomas north of Frayser Boulevard.

“After a few moments, the man forced her into an alley and stabbed her with a metal object under her chin with such force that it struck the roof of her mouth,” said a news release from Weirich’s office. “He also used the object to sexually assault her after forcing her to perform oral sex.”

Police officers collected evidence in the case, including a set of dentures, and put it all in a storage locker. That evidence, including an untested rape kit, became part of the city’s backlog of about 12,000 untested rape kits.

The evidence in the Maupin rape case was never examined again until Assistant District Attorney Abby Wallace, with the DA’s Special Victims Unit, sent it off to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Upon examination, the TBI found DNA, which was partial match for Maupin.

But the dentures gave up another crucial bit of evidence against Maupin — his name.

TBI investigators found Maupin’s name on the dentures during their examination. According to Weirich’s office, the dentures were made for Maupin during his 12-year term in the Washington prison.

Add a comment