Police arrest man using DNA warrantThe Associated Press SACRAMENTO — A Sacramento man charged with a 1994 rape might be the fir

The Associated Press
Wednesday October 25, 2000

SACRAMENTO — A Sacramento man charged with a 1994 rape might be the first person in the nation arrested using a DNA warrant, prosecutors say. 

Paul Eugene Robinson, 31, was arrested last month after state computers matched his genetic code to a warrant issued in the rape of a woman in August 1994, police said. 

The suspect listed on the warrant was only identified by a DNA sample. 

Other law enforcement agencies have filed such DNA warrants but Robinson is believed to be the first suspect arrested through one, said Norman Gahn, an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee, Wis. His office pioneered the concept of filing charges using only DNA identities. 

“This is all new territory, but hopefully in 10 years, it will be an everyday thing,” said Sacramento Police Detective Peter Willover. The rape was one in a series of attacks that police believed were related. The attacker was named the “Second Floor Rapist” for his penchant of assaulting women living on the second floors of apartment buildings. 

If investigators had not issued a DNA warrant in the case, they would have been unable to arrest Robinson because the statute of limitations is six years. 

A $50 million grant from the state Office of Criminal Justice Planning has been distributed to police departments around the state to do DNA testing done on old rape cases. 

Beginning in January, a new law will nearly eliminate the six-year limit on rapes in cases where DNA evidence is available. 

Some civil rights groups and defense attorneys say limiting the time to file charges ensures fair trials. Over several years memories fade and evidence gets lost or contaminated, said Johnny Griffin, Robinson’s attorney.