(NBC News) — On “Dateline,” in the weeks after 36-year-old mother Donna Palomba was raped, investigators accuse her of lying and threaten her with arrest.

Eleven years later, police finally track down her attacker and reveal his identity, sending shockwaves throughout the community.

Donna speaks out in Friday’s broadcast about her years-long journey for justice and the latest developments in the case, including the fight to keep her assailant from walking free

Here’s a preview of Andrea Canning’s report:

John Palomba was due home on Sunday, Sept. 12. He had no idea a nightmare awaited him.

DONNA PALOMBA: I KNEW JOHN WOULD BE CRUSHED.

Donna had gone to the hospital for a sex crimes examination, her rapist’s DNA collected. Now she steeled herself to tell John what had happened.

ANDREA CANNING: HE ASSUMES EVERYTHING WAS OKAY AT HOME.

DONNA PALOMBA: RIGHT.

ANDREA CANNING: –AND THEN HE WALKS THROUGH THE DOOR AND HIS LIFE CHANGES IN AN INSTANT.

DONNA PALOMBA: ABSOLUTELY

Almost three decades later, John Palomba still has trouble talking about that day.

JOHN PALOMBA: AND IT JUST– YOU KNOW, IT– IT– IT HURT ME THAT THERE WAS NOTHIN’ I COULD DO. I WAS ANGRY. I WAS VERY ANGRY I MEAN —

ANDREA CANNING: DID YOU FEEL ANY KIND OF– ANY OF THAT GUILT THAT, “OH, I SHOULDN’T HAVE —”

JOHN PALOMBA: OH, I HA–

ANDREA CANNING: –“GONE? I SH —”

JOHN PALOMBA: ABSOLUTELY. I FELT THAT I LET ‘EM DOWN. I WASN’T THERE. THAT’S WHAT HURT. IS– IS THAT– YOU JUST FELT LIKE YOU LET YOUR FAMILY DOWN.

It hurt even more because John had always been vigilant. Super protective.

JOHN PALOMBA: I USED TO TELL HER ALL THE TIME, “MAKE SURE THE DOORS ARE LOCKED.” IF I’M GOIN’ OUT FOR A WALK, MAKE SURE THE DOORS ARE LOCKED.

At first, the police made slow progress. Donna went over her memories of the assault again and again — hoping to retrieve details to help them.

The investigators were stumped by one question in particular — how did the attacker get into the house? Donna told them the doors were always locked at night.

Watch “Dateline: Evil Paid A Visit,” Friday at 9 p.m. on 22News.