DNA leads police to rape suspect 6 years later

Case part of growing number of unsolved crimes that have recently seen breakthroughs due to DNA samples being taken from prisoners.

DNA sample 370 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
DNA sample 370
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Police arrested a 34-year-old resident of the Arab village of Jatt, in the Sharon region, on Tuesday on suspicion of raping a woman whom he gave a ride in 2006.
The arrest was possible thanks to a DNA sample that the Prisons Service recently took from the suspect while he was in custody over an unrelated offense of violent assault, police said.
Six years ago, the woman, a 34-yearold Rishon Lezion resident, hitched a ride with a man after leaving a nightclub.
The driver suddenly swerved off the main road, assaulted and raped her while threatening violence, before throwing her out of the vehicle and fleeing the scene.
Police took the rapist’s DNA sample and stored it on a national database at Jerusalem police national headquarters.
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, police arrested the suspect for alleged violent assault, and the Prisons Service took a sample of his DNA, as is standard procedure.
Forensic officers at the police lab matched the sample to the 2006 rape, but the results came back after the suspect had been released from custody.
“We declared him an individual wanted for questioning,” a Tel Aviv Police spokeswoman said.
On Monday, Border Police officers in Hadera randomly stopped the man for a check. His name instantly appeared on the police computer as a wanted individual, and officers arrested him.
The man told police during questioning that he’d had nothing to do with the 2006 rape.
“Nevertheless, we know it’s him,” the spokeswoman said.
The case is part of a growing number of previously unsolved crimes that have recently seen breakthroughs due to the practice of taking DNA samples from prisoners, which have linked them to past offenses.