DNA, clothing lead to arrest in Iowa City break-in and sexual assault case

Police: DNA was 'identical match' to Robert Bryant

An Iowa City squad car. (file photo)
An Iowa City squad car. (file photo)

IOWA CITY — An Iowa City man has been arrested in connection with an April 15 break-in and sexual assault case.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, sometime between 1 and 2:15 a.m. on April 15, Robert L. Bryant, 47, entered a residence in the 1800 block of Hollywood Court. Police said an elderly woman was inside the home sleeping and awoke to Bryant sexually assaulting her. The woman was injured in the assault, police said.

Bryant and the victim did not know each other, said Iowa City Police Sgt. Scott Gaarde.

Following the assault, a sexual assault examination was completed on the victim and a DNA profile was developed from swabs sent to a lab for analysis, police said. That DNA profile was an “identical match” to a known DNA sample from Bryant, police said.

According to court records, Bryant was required to provide a sample of his DNA as part of a plea arrangement in 2014. In that case, Bryant was initially arrested for second-degree burglary, but pleaded down to third-degree burglary.

Police said they also recovered a “distinct article of clothing” from the victim’s residence. Gaarde said he could not comment on what that article of clothing was. However, police said witnesses identified the clothing as belonging to Bryant.

Bryant is listed as a transient in the criminal complaint, but police also list his address as 1816 Hollywood Court. Authorities said the victim did not give Bryant permission to enter her home or have sexual contact with her.

Bryant was arrested Friday and faces charges of first-degree burglary, a Class B felony; and third-degree sexual abuse, a Class C felony. If convicted of both charges, Bryant could spend up to 35 years in prison.

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Court records show Bryant was arrested for public intoxication around 1 a.m. on April 29 after he was found to be “intoxicated and starting fights” in the 2100 block of Taylor Drive. Bryant has previous arrests for public intoxication and assaults on people in certain occupations.

l Comments: (319) 398-8238; lee.hermiston@thegazette.com

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