LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – A southern Kentucky man has been arrested and charged with rape in connection to a case dating back to 1993, court records show.
James Fields (Photo: Whitley County Detention Center)
According to police, on Sept. 4 of that year, the 13-year-old victim was walking home from a football game, when she was approached by two men. Officers say the three walked into the backyard of the victim, where they smoked marijuana and drank alcohol. After talking for a few hours, the two men pushed the girl onto the ground and, in turn, raped her, police said.
Investigators say that afterward, the men tied a rope around the victim’s neck and walked several blocks away from the girl’s home before letting her go. The victim then ran off and reported the crime to police. She was taken to the hospital and received a sexual assault exam.
According to an arrest warrant from July 8th of this year, the kit was examined by the Kentucky State Police Crime Lab, who found semen matching with James Ashley Fields’ DNA in the National DNA Index System.
Fields was later interviewed by detectives and stated he only lived in Lexington for a few months during the mid-‘90s. He also denied having sexual intercourse with the then-juvenile victim. At the time of the incident, Fields was 22 years old.
Lexington Police would not say what prompted the recent rape kit test other to say that investigators were ready to move forward with prosecution.
Williamsburg Police arrested Fields earlier this week without incident, Chief William Bird said. Fields' lengthy criminal record includes a number of charges from Whitley County, where investigators say Fields has lived for years.
"We've dealt with Mr. Fields for many years," Chief Bird said. "In his younger years, he was very resistant to law enforcement. We've had several altercations with him."
Fields was convicted of attempted rape in 2002 and is in the sex offender registry. In 2011, Fields faced attempted murder charges for a machete attack that he called an accident as he tried to stop a drunken argument.
"I grabbed up a machete," Fields told WKYT in a 2011 interview from jail, "and I said, you all stop or I'll cut all y'all up - just trying to scare them to stop!"
The Corbin News Journal reports that Fields later entered an Alford plea on charges of assault for the machete incident.
Police say Fields has also escaped custody twice in recent years - once from the courthouse in 2011, when Fields was later caught in the Cumberland River using his clothes as a floatation device, and again in 2013 when he escaped from the Whitley County Detention Center. (He was found shortly after in the woods behind an apartment complex near the jail, police said.)