Dallas Finding Old Rape Suspects Via DNA, Can’t Charge Them


A Texas man who raped a 12-year-old girl at knifepoint more than two decades ago won’t be arrested, says the Dallas Morning News. Dewayne Willis, 47, will finish his sentence for unrelated theft and burglary charges next month – and walk out of prison a free man. Police say he is one of six men linked to 1980s rapes through DNA profiles or fingerprints. It is impossible to prosecute them because of an old statute of limitations. “He doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist, and as far as I’m concerned, he should be in prison for the rest of his life,” says the victim, now 36. “He took something from me that I will never, ever get back, and for that there is no justice.”

It’s an issue Dallas must face because, unlike most counties nationwide, it has preserved DNA evidence for decades. And though 19 prisoners have been exonerated as a result, that evidence is incriminating people as well. If they can’t be charged, Dallas police and District Attorney Craig Watkins would like to require them to register as sex offenders, and to have their deeds noted in their criminal histories. “This is all new,” Watkins says. “We’re going into uncharted territory.”

Link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/092408dnmetnojustice.19e0128.html

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