by Dept. of Public Safety Staff
A fugitive wanted for a sexual assault that occurred near Sterling 18 years ago is being extradited to Alaska after his DNA proved a match in an Alaska State Troopers Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) investigation.
Carmen Daniel Perzechino Jr., age 57, was indicted on March 13, 2019, by a Kenai grand jury on two counts of first degree sexual assault and one count of kidnapping for crimes allegedly committed on January 20, 2001.
The indictment came after the sexual assault kit was tested as part of the SAKI project. The DNA matched to a known DNA profile for Perzechino in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). CODIS is a national database of DNA profiles from known individuals as well as from unknown suspects.
Perzechino is believed to have left the United States early last February after Troopers renewed their investigation into the 2001 sexual assault report. Troopers requested the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force in locating Perzechino. He was extradited from the Philippines in August 2019. Upon landing in Seattle, Perzechino appeared in front of a Washington judge and waived extradition to Alaska. Perzechino will be arraigned by an Alaska judge upon his return to the state.
“This case demonstrates why SAKI is so important,” said Amanda Price, Commissioner of Department of Public Safety. “We owe it to survivors of crimes like this to investigate new leads and follow through on these cases. I am very proud of what SAKI is accomplishing and the justice it hopefully provides to survivors across Alaska.”
Anyone with information about this or other crimes committed by Perzechino should contact the Alaska State Troopers. The indictment and charges against Perzechino are allegations and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A statewide inventory of sexual assault kits in 2017 found more than 3,000 kits from nearly 50 police agencies in Alaska that had never been submitted to the Crime Lab for DNA analysis. The kits had been collected from investigations spanning three decades.
Between 2016 and 2017, the Department of Public Safety was awarded a total of $1.5 million in federal SAKI funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The goal of SAKI is to support DPS in evaluating its approach to sexual assault cases based on a review of evidence found in sexual assault kits that had not been submitted to the Crime Lab for testing. Through the SAKI grant, a multidisciplinary team has worked to evaluate prior and current practices, and make recommendations based on evidence-based best practices.
For more information about the SAKI, visit https://dps.alaska.gov/Comm/SAK/Home