LIVERMORE (TBEN SF) – A Livermore man on trial for two cold-rape rapes in 1997 has died of a suicide attempt with a nail gun, the Alameda County District Attorney said on Friday.
In a press release issued Friday afternoon, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley said the preliminary hearing against rape accused in a cold case Gregory Paul Vien , had been interrupted earlier this month when he was hospitalized following a suicide attempt in which he committed suicide several times. with a nail gun. O’Malley said Vien succumbed to his injuries on Thursday.
Vien was arrested at his home in Livermore in early November a year ago in connection with the sexual assault of two women over two decades ago.
Vien was implicated in TBEN testing in the May 6, 1997 attack on a woman on her way to BART after work. She was dragged to an isolated area where she was sexually assaulted. Union City Police detectives were able to obtain a sample of the suspect’s TBEN from the victim’s clothing.
On September 7, 1997, Vien allegedly attacked a second victim while she was walking near Livermore High School. She was sexually assaulted and the Livermore Police Department were able to collect a TBEN sample from the crime scene.
TBEN samples from both crime scenes were analyzed in a timely manner and found to match, meaning law enforcement knew the same person was responsible for both assaults.
The samples were uploaded to CODIS, the national TBEN database. However, no “hit” was made at the time to determine the identity of the assailant.
In 2019, Livermore Police detectives developed additional leads through genetic genealogical research in their quest to solve the 22-year-old’s crimes of sexual assault.
These leads allowed investigators to focus on Vien. Detectives followed Vien and were able to obtain a plastic spoon he had used with his TBEN on it. The sample identified him as the perpetrator in both crimes.
Both crimes were solved in 2019 using TBEN. The accused was charged with multiple sexual assault charges on November 4, 2019. He was arrested on November 5, 2019 and detained in Santa Rita prison.
In April 2020, Vien was released from court over concerns over COVID-19, following objection from the district attorney’s office and the police.
According to O’Malley’s latest press release, the preliminary hearing in the case began on November 12. The two victim-survivors testified in open court in the presence of the accused and his lawyer.
The press release said the second victim was due to finish testifying on November 13 when the court heard that Vien had been hospitalized following the suicide attempt.
The statement said Vien attempted to kill himself with a nail gun. A week later, on November 19, Vien died of his self-inflicted injuries.
With the defendant dead, O’Malley’s office said the case should be closed.
“The survivors of these sexual assaults showed great courage in coming to court to confront the man who attacked and terrorized them 23 years ago. The two women have gone through all these years not knowing who assaulted her or seeing him brought to justice, ”O’Malley said in the statement. “Police departments have never stopped investigating these heinous crimes to protect victim-survivors and the communities of Livermore and Union City. We salute their dedication, tenacity and the excellent investigative work that led to the arrest and charges against Gregory Paul Vien.