San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin dismissed charges brought against a woman whose DNA collected in a rape medical exam was used by police to link her to a property crime, reports the Associated Press. Officials said the charges violated the woman's Fourth Amendment rights. "This is illegal," said Rachel Marshall of Boudin's office. She said that by examining hundreds of documents from the property crime case, prosecutors discovered that the San Francisco Police Department keeps a database that linked DNA collected from sexual assault survivors to crimes.
A small fraction of sexual assault survivors agree to undergo exams to find a DNA match with the perpetrator, and many find the practice traumatic and invasive, Boudin's office said. Police Chief Bill Scott said that if it is true that this information is being used to charge these victims with unresolved crimes, he is committed to ending the practice. Boudin said he will work with legislators on a bill to prevent DNA evidence from being used for anything other than investigating sexual assault.