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Woman Sues S.F. For Linking Her DNA Rape Kit to Another Crime

A woman whose rape kit DNA was used to link her to an unrelated property crime has sued the city of San Francisco over the incident, which prompted a national outcry this year, the Guardian reports. The San Francisco police department used the DNA and later dropped the charges. Her DNA had been collected and stored in the system as part of a 2016 domestic violence and sexual assault case, then-district attorney Chesa Boudin said in February in a revelation that raised privacy concerns. Advocates, law enforcement, legal experts and lawmakers warned that the practice could affect victims’ willingness to come forward to law enforcement authorities.

The woman filed the lawsuit as Jane Doe to protect her privacy, said her attorney, Adante Pointer. The police department’s crime lab stopped the practice shortly after receiving a complaint from the district attorney’s office and changed its operating procedure to prevent the misuse of DNA collected from sexual assault victims, said police chief Bill Scott. Scott said he had discovered 17 crime victim profiles, 11 of them from rape kits, that were matched as potential suspects using a crime victim database during unrelated investigations. Scott believes the only person arrested was the woman who filed the lawsuit on Monday.


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