Due to advancements in fingerprinting technology, Pinellas County detectives have arrested a man suspected of sexual battery in a 1992 cold case. Jeffrey Hogston, 49 was taken into police custody on Thursday. According to detectives, the suspect met the victim, who was 24 years-old at the time at a lounge in Clearwater.
He then lured the victim to a Quality Inn parking lot and sexually battered her multiple times in the backseat of her vehicle. Hogston then ordered the victim to drive him to the intersection of US Highway 19 North and Beckett Way, where he exited the car and fled. Detectives found fingerprints on a business card the victim gave the suspect upon meeting, but the latent fingerprints were unidentifiable and the case remained cold.
But early last year, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office updated their current fingerprinting system with new Morphotrak biometric software, improving the accuracy and efficiency of their fingerprint analyses. Police used the improved technology to examine the same latent fingerprint evidence collected in 1992, which allowed detectives to identify Hogston. Hogston remains at the Pinellas County Jail and faces one count of sexual battery.