20-year-old DNA evidence leads to charges in St. Paul sexual assault

A genetic profile established for a previously unknown man nearly 20 years ago has positively identified a suspect, leading to charges in the aftermath of a 2003 St. Paul attack.

Shawn Phillips Skie, 48, of St. Paul is charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault for his role in an attack that occurred in late December 2003.

According to charges, on Dec. 29, 2003, a woman contacted the St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) to report she believed she had been sexually assaulted during the early morning hours in a parking lot on the 100 block of Cesar Chavez Street in St. Paul.

She told police she had met Skie at a bar on Stryker and Dodd avenues the previous evening to say goodbye before he moved to California. The victim reported having two drinks during a three-hour period. After the second drink, began to feel "lightheaded and disoriented," according to charges.

Later, inside Skie’s car, she reported an attack that, "Seemed like a dream and [she was] physically unable to fight back."

St. Paul Police initially opened an investigation into Skie after the attack but couldn't find him. Authorities pended the case in February 2005.

A DNA sample taken from the victim helped create an unidentified male profile that was then entered into the Minnesota DNA and National DNA Index System databases for periodic profile searches. In August 2023, as part of the Statewide Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, a match came back from a periodic search that confirmed Skie’s DNA in the sample taken in 2003, charges said.

According to court documents, the victim, "would like to proceed with charges against Skie, as the incident has ruined her life."

Skie’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 2, and he is currently considered a "high risk to public safety," according to charges.