Israel Police solve rape case with DNA sample from used mask

A Jerusalem resident in his 30s was arrested for raping and physically assaulting a tourist back in 2009 after police took a DNA sample from a used mask.

 The face mask that ended Israel Police's 13-year investigation into a rape case. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
The face mask that ended Israel Police's 13-year investigation into a rape case.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

A DNA sample gathered from a face mask helped Israel Police crack a 13-year-old rape case, Jerusalem District Commander Doron Turgeman said on Thursday.

“The advanced technological means of investigation made solving the case possible,” he said.

A Jerusalem resident in his 30s was arrested for raping and physically assaulting a tourist in 2009 when the suspect was still a minor.

According to the original police report, the tourist met the suspect in Jerusalem during her stay in Israel. The man, who offered to carry the tourist’s baggage, led her to a dark public park in the city and proceeded to assault and rape her.

The suspect managed to escape, and the police investigation that followed proved futile.

Israel Police officers enforce lockdown restrictions, January 8, 2020. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)Israel Police officers enforce lockdown restrictions, January 8, 2020. (credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Thirteen years later, investigators reached a breakthrough due to advancements in identification technology and one used face mask.

A DNA sample taken from the face mask worn by the suspect meant police managed to identify and arrest the Jerusalem resident, following a period of undercover investigative work.

The man, detained this week, will be brought before the Jerusalem District Court and indicted for rape and assault.

The case is “proof” that “even after much time, the Israel Police work relentlessly to locate criminals and bring them to justice,” Turgeman said.