In resurrecting old crimes, investigators have detected an alarming pattern: Many rapists are repeat offenders.
In Cuyahoga County, home to Cleveland, about 30 percent of cases that have developed from testing so far are serial rape suspects. One of them, Robert Green, assaulted seven women over nearly a decade as evidence went unprocessed. He pleaded guilty last fall and was sentenced to up to 135 years in prison.
I'm not sure I would have said "alarming." We have known that for a long time. The DNA provides irrefutable confirmation, though.
Conviction does not always follow a DNA match, though. The statute of limitations may have run. A claim of consent may be hard to refute in a very cold case.
"It's great entertainment on television that in one hour's time, we have a crime, we take the sample, we get a `hit,' we arrest the suspect and then he's prosecuted and off to jail," says Doug McGowen, coordinator of Memphis' Sexual Assault Kit Task Force. "That's just not the case, clearly."