Without her knowledge or consent, Mr. Pointer said, her DNA was placed into a database that was used to identify people as possible suspects in other crimes — a practice that the San Francisco Police Department repeated with other sexual assault victims. The Board of Supervisors in San Francisco approved an ordinance this year that prohibits the Police Department from identifying suspects by using DNA from a rape kit.
Most law enforcement agencies that work with such databases, he said, are like “stamp collectors” when it comes to collecting DNA.
“The more people they can get in the database,” Professor Kane said, “the happier they are.”
Mr. Pointer said that his client felt lucky that the district attorney in San Francisco had looked into her case and dismissed the charge.
“You’d think this is some type of sci-fi movie,” he said. “But it’s real life.”