The Tennessee man accused of kidnapping and killing a Memphis teacher in 2022 was found guilty on Friday of kidnapping and raping a different woman a year prior.

Cleotha Abston, 40, was convicted by a Memphis jury on three counts of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and unlawful possession of a weapon, according to The Daily Memphian via The Associated Press. 

The crime took place on Sept. 21, 2021, after the woman agreed to meet Abston at his apartment after connecting with him on a dating website. She reported that he held her at gunpoint, covered her face with a T-shirt and walked her outside to a vehicle where he raped her in the backseat.

The victim reportedly testified on Tuesday that she complied because she “didn’t want to die.”  

ELIZA FLETCHER MURDER SUSPECT CLEOTHA ABSTON’S VIOLENT HISTORY OF RAPE, ASSAULT AND KIDNAPPING EXPLAINED

Abston, who is charged in the murder of 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher after allegedly kidnapping her during her morning run on Sept. 2, 2022, was not charged in the 2021 rape case until he was charged in Fletcher’s death because of a delay in processing the first woman’s sexual assault kit.

The victim in the 2021 case sued the city of Memphis on allegations that its police department did not investigate her case properly, but the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge, the AP reported.

Memphis police car

The Tennessee legislature passed a law after Fletcher’s death requiring that the state Bureau of Investigation issue quarterly reports on sexual assault kit testing times.

TENNESSEE WOMAN ELIZA FLETCHER DIED FROM GUNSHOT TO THE HEAD: AUTOPSY

Prior to Abston’s trial for the 2021 rape, his lawyer, Juni Ganguli, filed a change of venue motion asking that jurors from the Nashville area hear the case instead of jurors from Memphis because of heavy media coverage, prompting concerns Abston wouldn’t receive a fair trial.

Eliza Fletcher with family and posing for a selfie

Shelby County Judge Lee Coffee denied the request in January.

Abston has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and killing Fletcher, who was a kindergarten teacher, a wife and mother of two, and an avid runner.

A trial date has not yet been set.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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