An attorney for the Michigan businessman accused of two golf course rapes in 1999 and 2000 says he is looking forward to telling ‘his side of the story’ after being arrested on a DNA match.
Kurt Rillema, 51, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of attacking two women in two separate incidents nearly 25 years ago.
Police traced him by matching DNA found at the scenes to a distant relative of Rillema’s, who had submitted their DNA to GEDMatch, the same database that led to Idaho quadruple murder suspect Bryan Kohberger.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, but is being held without bond.
His attorneys Deanna Kelley and Ellen Michaels told DailyMail.com they still have not seen the DNA evidence the case is resting on.
‘Every story has two sides, and he’s looking forward to telling his side in court.’
Kelley also called the genetic genealogy used to identify him as a suspect a ‘controversial practice’.
‘We’ve not seen it yet, but how it was obtained is as good as the evidence,’ she said.
After narrowing the sample down to Rillema and his two brothers, police say they tested his DNA from a discarded coffee cup and found a direct match with the crime scene samples.
Rillema, a successful businessman and father-of-three, is behind bars in Michigan awaiting his next court date. He is yet to answer to the charges.
Fox cites anonymous sources who say Rillema led a double life, investing in strip clubs and allegedly trying to attack some of the women who worked in them.
‘He was like a kid in a candy store. He bragged he was an owner to get sexual favors,’ the source said.
Kelley, one of his attorneys, denied that characterization.
‘I’ve spoken to many of his family members, his friends. There is absolutely no evidence of that,’ she said.
Rillema is accused of raping two women; one at the Twin Lakes Golf Club in Michigan in 1999 and another in 2000 at a Penn State University golf course.
According to police, he was living near the Twin Lakes club at the time of the first attack, and was visiting his brother at Penn State when the second attack occurred.
On July 27, 2000, Rillema allegedly attacked a woman, 19, who was jogging on the Blur Course at Penn State University.
While at the 18th hole, Rillema supposedly stopped the victim to ask her for a band aid.
Rillema then pulled out a knife, held it to her throat, punched her in the stomach and raped her, the victim told police.
DNA belonging to an unknown male was found at both of the scenes, but it wasn’t until the sample was compared to the GEDMatch and that a match with one of Rillema’s distant relatives was found.
A team of genetic genealogy investigators then worked backwards to find living relatives of the person who had submitted their DNA who may fit the profile for the crime.
It led them to Rillema and his two brothers – Marc and Bradley.
Marc was studying at Penn State between 1999 and 2000, according to his LinkedIn.
He now lives with his family in Oregon. Bradley and his wife live in Michigan with their children.
No one in the family responded to DailyMail.com’s inquiries, and Kurt’s wife Kristi is yet to comment on his arrest.
Kurt is being held without bond until his next court date in Michigan.