Sep 13, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Woman whose rape kit DNA led to her arrest sues San Francisco

Then-San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks during a press conference on Feb. 15. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A woman whose rape kit DNA was used to arrest her for an unrelated crime filed a lawsuit Monday against the city of San Francisco.

Driving the news: The sexual assault victim, identified only as Jane Doe, is suing for unspecified damages and is hoping to hold the city accountable, her attorney, Adante Pointer, told the New York Times.

Background: The woman's DNA had been collected and stored in a police database during a 2016 domestic violence and sexual assault case.

  • Five years later, during a search of the San Francisco Police Department crime lab database, her DNA was connected to a burglary.

What they're saying: "This is government overreach of the highest order, using the most unique and personal thing we have — our genetic code — without our knowledge to try and connect us to crime,” Pointer said in a statement per AP.

But, but, but: Then-San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin eventually dropped the felony property crime charges against the woman after learning about the source of the evidence.

The big picture: There was a national outcry when Boudin announced in February that California crime labs use DNA from sexual assault survivors to investigate unrelated crimes.

  • Advocates say it could affect victims’ willingness to come forward.

Of note: California lawmakers approved a bill last month that prohibits victims' DNA from being used for any purpose other than identifying the perpetrator of the crime.

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