The fallout continues from a February revelation that SFPD was keeping rape victims’ DNA and using it to potentially prosecute the victims for other crimes, as the Jane Doe in that case has sued the city in a U.S. District Court.
It was back when Chesa Boudin was still district attorney when we learned that a rape victim’s DNA sample from her attack was used by SFPD to prosecute her for an alleged property crime. SFPD quickly backtracked and said they wouldn’t do this anymore, but outrage over the incident has already produced legislation on the matter; Supervisor Hillary Ronen passed a measure prevent the storage of that DNA material, and state Senator Scott Wiener passed similar legislation at the state level that is currently awaiting Governor Newsom’s signature.
But that’s not the end of this story. The Chronicle reports that victim is suing the city of San Francisco, as well as SFPD Chief Bill Scott and several specifically named individuals at the SFPD Crime Lab, in a suit filed Monday at a U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
The victim remains anonymous, and is identified only as “Jane Doe.”
"The last thing a survivor is thinking is that this will one day come back and be used against me," her attorney Adante Pointer said at a Monday news conference, according to KTVU. "Jane Doe came to the police looking for help. She came to the police looking for them to do right by her an instead the police betrayed her."
The rape occurred in 2016, and Jane Doe did report it, with police taking DNA evidence to support her case. But they held onto that DNA evidence, and used it to tie Jane Doe to an alleged burglary crime in 2021. She was held in jail for a few months until the revelation became public, and Boudin dropped the charges against her in February 2022.
The suit does not name a dollar amount of damages it seeks, but that is the end game here. The suit asks for relief for medical expenses, emotional distress, attorneys fees, and violation of constitutional rights.
Related: SFPD Backtracks, Will No Longer Use Rape Kit DNA to Prosecute Rape Victims for Unrelated Crimes [SFist]
Image: @SFPDChief via Twitter