Man convicted in 1995 cold case rape kills himself in prison

photo by A.J. van der Wal

André S., sentenced to four years in prison two weeks ago for raping a Den Bosch woman in 1995, committed suicide in his cell in the prison in Grave, his lawyer Jori Schadd said to Omroep Brabant. The 41-year-old man hung himself on Friday night. "The man leaves a family with wife and children", the lawyer said.

"He was devastated when he heard his conviction", the lawyer said, adding that they already filed an appeal. "The case was definitely not done for me. We still had opportunities." The lawyer is annoyed that he did not hear about the suicide from the judiciary, but from a reporter.

André S.'s case made headlines because he was caught two decades after the rape based on a DNA match in the Netherlands Forensic Institute's database. His DNA was added to the database when he was convicted of extortion and assault in 2010. According to the NFI, this was the oldest cold case solved in the country through a DNA match to date. 

"We are doing the maximum to prevent suicide, but unfortunately it can't always be ruled out", a spokesperson for the Ministry of Security and Justice said to Omroep Brabant. "If we suspect people want to commit suicide, they are placed in a special cell." According to him, an average of 15 people commit suicide in prison each year.

The prison in Grave reported the suicide to the Healthcare Inspectorate, as is standard procedure. A separate institution will also investigate the circumstances around S.'s death. 

André S. always denied that he raped the Den Bosch woman.