Police Used a Rape Survivor’s Own DNA to Later Arrest Her? Genetic Databases Need Rethinking.

Jen King
Dr. Jennifer King, Non-Residential Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society

(Originally published by The Washington Post on February 17, 2022)

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin made a disturbing announcement on Monday: Rape survivors’ DNA profiles had been routinely submitted to the city’s crime lab for inclusion in databases used to identify criminal suspects. The practice came to light, he said, after a woman’s DNA from a rape kit collected several years ago led to her recent arrest for a property crime.

Boudin’s office said Tuesday that he had dismissed the case against the woman, and the San Francisco Police Department has said it is investigating the crime lab’s practices.

(Continue reading the opinion essay on The Washington Post’s page here.)