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Fairfax detectives use DNA to solve 22-year-old rape case

Using the state of Virginia's own version of CSI, Fairfax County police made an arrest in a 1987 rape case after DNA evidence collected at the scene was matched to a Pennsylvania man.

John Q. Kinsey, 49, has been charged with rape, and burglary with intent to commit rape, police said.

Kinsey is accused of breaking into a Pimmit Hills house on May 11, 1987 and sexually assaulting a woman inside. The 30-year-old woman eventually was able to jump out a window to escape.

My colleague, researcher Meg Smith, was able to track down court records that show Kinsey was convicted of attempted rape in a June 1988 assault. At the time, he lived on Sportsman Drive in Falls Church. He also had been charged with rape in 1984, but the charge was dropped, records show.

The arrest is the latest local example of the success of the Virginia's massive DNA database, which now includes more than 300,000 genetic samples.

Virginia's crime lab, where real-life CSI stories play out, has long been on the cutting edge of criminal forensics. The state launched the DNA database in 1989. It has helped police solve more than 870 sex crimes - including this Fairfax County case - - and more than 475 murders. This year alone there have been more than 570 cold hits.

In recent years, the state also has launched an effort to test evidence from years-old murders, rapes and other serious cases that were prosecuted before DNA technology was available. Using the latest technology helps ensure the right people were convicted.

In the Fairfax case, Cold Case detectives routinely sort through old unsolved cases to see if any evidence remains that might yield clues. They reopened the Pimmit Hills rape case in the spring, submitted evidence and got a hit.
--Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  December 3, 2009; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Maria Glod  
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Unless he is a time traveler, he couldn't have committed a rape in 1894 ;)

Posted by: mercredi | December 3, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Mercredi--I guess it was a really cold case!

Posted by: FAC33 | December 3, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

This reporter clearly didn't have her afternoon coffee. Thanks for correcting me on the date.
We've fixed it. Mr. Kinsey was convicted of attempted rape in a 1988 case.

Posted by: Maria Glod | December 3, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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