MADISON — A Madison man serving a 12-year prison sentence for the rape of a woman on Madison’s South Side in 2014 has been tied by DNA evidence to four other sex assaults in Dane County between 2008 and 2014, according to a search warrant unsealed this week in Dane County Circuit Court.
Mariono L. Weaver, 48, currently an inmate at New Lisbon Correctional Institution, was tied by DNA evidence to reported sexual assaults in Madison, the town of Madison, Fitchburg and on the UW-Madison campus, according to the search warrant, which was filed by the state Department of Justice.
No charges have been filed in any of the other assaults, according to court records.
The warrant, which was originally filed under seal in January but unsealed on Tuesday, sought a confirmation sample of Weaver’s DNA as part of an investigation into the 2010 sexual assault of a woman in Fitchburg who had accepted a ride to Walmart from a stranger, only to be driven to a secluded area and raped.
A sexual assault kit with samples taken from the victim by a Meriter Hospital forensic nurse examiner in 2010 was taken to the state Crime Lab in 2017 as part of DOJ’s Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. DNA extracted from the kit was found last year to match Weaver’s profile in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, also called CODIS.
The warrant states that Weaver’s DNA profile was also linked to four other sexual assault cases, including the May 14, 2014, incident in Madison for which Weaver was convicted of second-degree sexual assault in 2015 and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He is scheduled for release in 2026.
The other three cases to which CODIS linked Weaver’s DNA include:
- A 2008 sexual assault case investigated by UW-Madison police. Spokesman Marc Lovicott did not respond to calls Thursday about the case.
- A 2010 case investigated by town of Madison police. Chief Scott Gregory said in that case a woman reported on Oct. 29, 2010, that she had been given a ride by a man who assaulted her in his car at Carver and Balden streets, near the UW Arboretum.
- A 2014 case investigated by city of Madison police in which a woman told police that on Feb. 6, 2014, she was taken to an apartment by an acquaintance and assaulted by at least two men. Police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the woman told police, who are aware of the DNA match, that she does not want to pursue the case and relive the incident.
As of about two weeks ago, the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative reported that testing was completed on 95% of the 1,032 sexual assault kits from Dane County that were designated for testing. Of those tested, 36% identified “foreign” DNA, or DNA that did not belong to the victim.
Statewide, the project reported that testing was finished on 93% of 4,471 kits designated for testing, with 39% identifying “foreign” DNA.
According to the warrant, the woman in the Fitchburg incident on Oct. 15, 2010 — two weeks before the town of Madison incident — told police she was at a PDQ convenience store on Fish Hatchery Road and asked a man in the store for directions to a Walmart store. She started to walk to the Walmart on Watts Road, about six miles away, when the man she had spoken to at PDQ pulled up in a car and asked her if she wanted a ride.
The man instead took her south on Seminole Highway and then onto a gravel road, then stopped and told her, “We’re going to do something about the ride.”
The woman tried to walk away, the warrant states, but the man grabbed her. When the woman pleaded with him not to hurt her, he told her, “I have killed people for less.”
After the man raped her, the woman told police, he got into his car and drove away, and she walked to Seminole Highway and called 911.
The case was assigned to a state Division of Criminal Investigation agent in October 2018. Fitchburg Deputy Police Chief Don Bates said he could not comment on the case because the investigation remains active.
According to the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, there is no statute of limitations for charging first-degree sexual assault, but a 10-year limitation exists on charges of second- and third-degree sexual assault.
However, the statute of limitation can be extended in some circumstances where DNA evidence is obtained or tested, according to WCASA.