Minneapolis man convicted in 2010 kidnapping, sexual assault case after DNA finally tested

A Minneapolis man was convicted Friday for the sexual assault and kidnapping of two women from over a decade ago after crucial DNA evidence was left untested for years. 

A Hennepin County jury found James Works, 49, guilty of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct while armed with a dangerous weapon and two counts of kidnapping for attacking two women on June 26, 2010. 

It took Hennepin County prosecutors over a decade to file charges against Works after critical DNA evidence in the case sat untested for years. The BCA flagged the case in 2019 as part of an initiative to complete testing on sexual assault kits. The Hennepin County Attorney’s office asked the BCA to run the tests in 2021, which came back as a match to Works, court documents say.

One of the victims previously spoke with FOX 9 explaining how she was frustrated with the case. 

"I just feel like they need to take sexual assault more seriously. They don't. A lot of times they blame the victim, and a lot of times the victim is afraid to come forward," she said.

Work was subsequently charged in October 2022 and his trial began on March 21, 2023. The victim who asked FOX 9 to conceal her identity publicly testified against Works, recounting what happened that day. The jury deliberated less than an hour and found Works guilty on all charges. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, according to court records.