Serial rapist to return to Memphis area next month

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A serial rapist is going to be back in the Memphis area next month.

Sammie Grant, 40, has been convicted of several gruesome and violent crimes in Memphis, including one involving a toddler.

He’s one of the offenders tied to the city’s rape kit backlog WREG first uncovered in 2010.

It’s a case that will forever haunt former lieutenant Cody Wilkerson.

“One of the worst rapes I’ve ever read about and I’ve read thousands of rape cases," said Wilkerson.

Wilkerson says Grant, a career criminal, broke into a 50-year-old woman’s home in the airport area in 2006.

“He put a pillow case over her head, duct taped her hands, raped her at knife point, caused superficial wounds all about her body.”

Wilkerson says Grant sliced her with a butcher knife as he threatened to kill her. It went on for hours before he left.

Police gathered DNA evidence so a rape kit could be sent out for testing.

“And we didn’t test that kit," said Wilkerson. "There’s absolutely no acceptable reason for that kit not to be tested at that time. It was standard practice for stranger assault kits to be tested at that time.”

Grant was already in the system for a past attempted rape conviction so he would’ve shown up had they tested the kit.

Instead, it sat around for seven years and while it did, Grant committed more heinous crimes, like this one in 2009:

“He raped another woman at a public park, drug her off into the woods, duct taped her hands around a tree and raped her at knifepoint.”

As police investigated this violent assault, Grant was charged with raping his live-in girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter.

Reports say the little girl referred to “Paw Paw” as the one who’d been causing her physical pain.

“While they’re prosecuting him for molesting the 3-year-old, the DNA results come back from the woman in the park and he goes to prison on those two cases.”

Grant took a plea deal and was sentenced to ten years for the two crimes.

Had the kit from the 2006 home invasion rape been tested when it was supposed to, Wilkerson said neither of these rapes would’ve happened.

“Innocent women were being raped because MPD wasn’t doing their job?” WREG's Bridget Chapman asked.

“Yes," said Wilkerson.

“And children?" asked Chapman.

"Yes," he answered.

He said he wanted the case to be used as a catalyst for change.

“I tried to effect as much change as I could from within the system and when I saw there was going to be no more change effected, I retired.”

Wilkerson left MPD in 2016.

He now plans to testify against the city in an ongoing lawsuit brought forth by rape victims affected by the untested kits.

The rape kit from the 2006 home invasion rape wasn’t sent out for testing until 2013.

In 2014, MPD found out Grant was a hit for it.

Grant’s scheduled to get released from the West Tennessee State Penitentiary in Henning on March 1st.

The Shelby County Fugitive Squad will pick him up and he’ll be transferred to 201 Poplar until he stands trial.