San Francisco DA Says Police Used Rape Victims’ DNA Evidence to Identify Possible Crime Suspects

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San Francisco’s police chief says he is investigating claims by the district attorney that rape kit evidence from sexual assault victims is being used to identify possible crime suspects.

His announcement Monday followed a public statement issued by the city’s prosecutor that the police department’s crime lab “attempts to identify crime suspects” by accessing a database that stores DNA taken from rape victims, District Attorney Chesa Boudin said.

Boudin said a woman was recently arrested in connection with a felony property crime based on genetic evidence collected during an investigation into domestic violence and rape.

The prosecutor said his office is investigating how many rape victims may have been taken into custody as a result of investigators accessing their DNA evidence collected during sexual assault examinations.

Police Chief Bill Scott said he, too, has ordered an investigation into Boudin’s claims and that, if they are true, he will stop the policy.

“We must never create disincentives for crime victims to cooperate with police, and if it’s true that DNA collected from a rape or sexual assault victim has been used by SFPD to identify and apprehend that person as a suspect in another crime, I’m committed to ending the practice,” he said.

San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen said she has asked the city attorney’s office to write legislation that would ban the use of rape kit evidence for anything other than the sexual assault investigation, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.