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Woman to sue city of San Francisco after her rape kit DNA was used to arrest her for another unrelated crime
By on March 11th, 2022. NEWS

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A woman whose DNA from a sexual assault examination was later used by the city police to arrest her in connection with an unrelated property crime says she will sue the city.

Attorney Adante Pointer and his client said on Thursday, March 10 that they intend to file a lawsuit after a 45-day waiting period mandated by law for officials to respond to the notice of intent to file suit, Pointer told The Times.

The San Francisco Police Department “and perhaps other police departments have been compiling a Google-like database of crime survivors’ DNA, which they then use to investigate unrelated crimes,” Pointer said.

There doesn’t appear to be an expiration date or limit on how authorities use the DNA, the attorney said, and victims aren’t provided notice that their DNA is being stored for use in future criminal investigations and “any number of other activities.”

“This is like giving the police access to your cellphone to look at evidence of a specific crime, and they keep searching it for years to come in order to implicate you in other crimes all without you having any notice or warning,” Pointer said.

Controversy over police use of victims DNA database emerged after San Francisco Dist. Atty. Chesa Boudin issued a statement in mid-February calling for an end to the practice.

According to Boudin’s February 14 announcement, a police crime lab had been using the database to “attempt to subsequently incriminate” victims of rape and sexual assault in unrelated cases, a practice he called “legally and ethically wrong.”

San Francisco state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) then introduced a bill on February 17 that would ban law enforcement from using DNA gathered as part of sexual assault and rape examinations against victims.

The bill, SB 1228, was in committee as of Thursday, March 10 state legislative records show.

The police have now dropped charges against the woman .

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