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Man charged 25 years after alleged sex assault in Laughlin of high school student

Posted at 8:58 PM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 10:51:09-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A man is behind bars facing sexual assault charges in a case that shows you can't outrun the long arm of the law....especially when the cops have DNA evidence.

Enoch Spina is accused of assaulting then 17-year-old Sabrina Lavelle at a Laughlin hotel after a high school graduation party 25 years ago.

The case was included in a 13 Investigation into the critical work Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's cold case unit is doing to bring long-awaited justice to victims.

According to Spina's arrest report, he admitted to police in 1995 that he pushed up Sabrina's shirt, pulled her pants and underwear down while she was not fully awake and took advantage of her while she was passed out.

Spina acknowledged Sabrina did not consent.

Sabrina says she suspects she was drugged that night but does not know who did it.

An analysis of DNA evidence recovered during the investigation said Spina could not be ruled out as a suspect.

But despite all that, according to police sources, the district attorney denied the case, wanting more evidence.

That evidence finally came in 2019 when new testing established a DNA match to Spina.

We spoke exclusively to Sabrina about the break in her case and the detectives behind it.

"It makes us feel safer. It makes us feel heard," says Sabrina. "And I think if they can get through these backlogs, I think it's teaching also the department how to deal with the new cases. It's showing them what not to do. Looking at old cases going, oh, look, this is how we dealt with the victim then, that's a bad thing."

Spina was arrested in Arizona last month and extradited to Las Vegas.

According to court records he will be arraigned in Laughlin Justice Court on Thursday.

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