SAN JOSE — A man serving a lengthy prison sentence has been charged with tying up and robbing an Oakridge Mall employee in 1994, after authorities say they matched cold-case forensic evidence to DNA he submitted after an unrelated sexual abuse conviction.
Tuesday, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced that a criminal grand jury indicted 65-year-old Thomas John Loguidice on Dec. 14 on one felony count of kidnapping with the intent to commit robbery. The charge was accompanied by allegations that he used a deadly weapon, threatened great bodily harm, and acted with “a high degree of callousness.”
“We don’t forget victims and we don’t forgive violent crime,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “Our message to our community is that this office will use advancing DNA forensics, detective work, and determination to seek justice.”
Loguidice is serving a 40-year prison sentence following his 2012 conviction in San Benito County for two counts of sexually abusing a child under 14. Until the recent indictment, he was being held in state prison custody at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad.
Jail records show he was transported to the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Thursday, and he is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charge Wednesday in a San Jose courtroom.
Prosecutors say the crime behind the new charge was reported the morning of Jan. 13, 1994 at what is now Westfield Oakridge Mall. Around 10 a.m. a 21-year-old woman working as acting manager at President Tuxedo was getting ready to open the store when a man walked into the showroom, threatened her with a knife, and forced her into a back storage room.
The intruder forced the woman to the ground, bound her wrists and tied her to a pipe, then proceeded to take cash out of the register. Before the man left, authorities say he sexually assaulted the captive woman before running away.
San Jose police detectives investigating the holdup eventually ran out of leads. Deputy District Attorney Rob Baker said that last summer, the cold case unit he leads at the district attorney’s office revisited the Oakridge case as part of a broader review of nearly 300 outstanding sexual assault investigations dating back to the 1990s.
During the new evaluation, they found that a sample of the assailant’s DNA from the original crime scene matched an entry in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. The entry reportedly belonged to Loguidice, who was required to submit his DNA to the database after his 2011 arrest in connection with the crimes in San Benito County.
After the match, prosecutors determined that they could not charge the sexual assault dimension of the holdup because the statute of limitations for that crime expired in 2000. But Baker said there was a strong enough case to charge Loguidice with kidnapping with intent for robbery, which has no statute of limitations.
Baker added that the office sought a criminal indictment from a grand jury, rather than the typical procedure of directly filing a criminal charge “because of the case age and desire to get to trial as soon as possible.” A grand jury indictment allows prosecutors to bypass a preliminary examination, the court hearing where a judge determines whether charges are fit to proceed to trial.
A conviction on the indictment would add a seven-years-to-life prison term on top of Loguidice’s current prison sentence. He has parole eligibility in 2032, and that would be pushed back by at least seven years if he were found guilty of the new kidnapping charge.
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