A man who was linked to a 1984 kidnapping and rape case in Connecticut by DNA evidence decades later has been sentenced to 25 years in prison, a state prosecutor announced Wednesday, praising the victim who “had to relive this horrific nightmare” to bring justice.

George Legere, 75, of Springfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced July 21 after having been convicted of first-degree kidnapping by a state jury in Hartford in May, Hartford State’s Attorney Sharmese Walcott said in a news release.

The victim was found bound, naked and slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle in Avon in the early morning hours of April 13, 1984, authorities said. She survived the attack.

The woman had just arrived at her apartment complex and was getting out of her car when Legere forced her back in, blindfolded her and bound her arms, police said. He then drove her to another location where he tied her to a tree, beat and raped her, officials said.

“The victim managed to blow the horn of the vehicle to alert help. When police arrived, they found the victim still bound by the wrists and naked,” Walcott said, adding that the victim was brought to a hospital where a sexual examination kit was completed.

Phone and email messages seeking comment were left for Legere’s public defender Wednesday.

Police in Avon, about 10 miles west of Hartford, said DNA was collected from the 1984 crime but that the state crime lab was not able to identify a suspect at the time. The information was entered into a national database.

Police said they were notified by the crime lab in 2021 that a match came up between the DNA evidence and Legere’s DNA. Legere had a DNA sample taken from him when he was released from a prison sentence in Massachusetts, authorities said. He was charged with kidnapping. Sexual assault charges could not be filed because the statute of limitations expired.

Legere is a former Windsor, Connecticut, resident who attended the University of California, Los Angeles and has a master’s degree in computer science, another public defender said after Legere’s arrest in 2021. He has a lengthy criminal record dating to the 1960s that includes arrests and convictions in more than 30 criminal cases, including other convictions for sexual assault, kidnapping and negligent homicide.

“Special thank you needs to be given to the Avon Police Department for the work they did and in keeping this case on their radar,” Walcott said. “It is unfortunate that the victim had to relive this horrific nightmare while testifying before a jury, but we sincerely appreciate her willingness to come forward and see the process through.”