Suspect in recent Norwalk sexual assault linked by DNA to 2015 rape

NORWALK >> A man arrested last month on suspicion of raping a woman has been linked by DNA evidence to a second unsolved rape from 2015, officials said Wednesday.
Ronald Mitchell Douglas, 33, is charged with three counts of rape, four counts of forcible oral copulation, false imprisonment by violence, attempted sodomy by use of force and bringing contraband into a jail, Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Information Bureau said.
He’s pleaded not guilty to the charges at an arraignment hearing on March 7 and is scheduled to return to the Norwalk branch of Los Angeles County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing setting, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court and booking records.
“Both cases occurred in the city of Norwalk where Suspect Douglas offered to walk the victims home or give them a ride, Jansen said in a written statement. “Shortly thereafter, at a secondary location, Suspect Douglas proceeded to sexually assault the victims.”
Deputies arrested the suspect during the early-morning hours on March 5 in connection with an alleged attack on a 40-year-old woman, officials said.
“During the investigation, DNA evidence revealed that Suspect Ronald Douglas was linked to a 2015 case where he is suspected of sexually assaulting a 37-year-old female,” Jansen said.
Douglas was being held in lieu of $200,000 bail pending the trial process, records show.
Investigators suspect there may be additional victims who have yet to come forward, and encouraged anyone with information to do so, Jansen said.
The sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau can be reached at 877-710-5273, or by email at Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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Whittier robbery suspect arrested by SWAT team in Long Beach


LONG BEACH >> A SWAT team early Thursday apprehended a man in Long Beach who’s been linked by DNA to a Whittier check cashing business robbery four months ago, authorities said.
Timothy Deaunti Jordan, 26, of Long Beach, who was already on parole for a previous robbery conviction, was jailed without a struggle when a SWAT team found him about 5:45 a.m. at a home in the 200 block of West Gardner Street in Long Beach, according to Whittier police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
He’s accused of taking part in the early-morning, Nov. 16, burglary and armed robbery of a Whittier check cashing business in the 8800 block of Painter Avenue, Whittier police Officer John Scoggins said.
The window of the businesses was found smashed, but nothing was believed to have been stolen, Scoggins said.
0318_NWS_WDN-L-SWAT1Police took burglary report and left, and the owner, a woman, stayed at the business to clean up the mess, he said.
The burglars returned while the woman was at the business, armed with a handgun, Scoggins said. They forced the owner to open a safe at gunpoint and fled with a large, undisclosed amount of cash.
Investigators found blood believed to belong to one of the suspects at the crime scene and submitted it to the crime lab for analysis. The lab recently informed Whittier police that the DNA matched that of Jordan, who was already on parole for a robbery conviction.
Jordan was being held without bail pending a scheduled arraignment hearing Monday, officials said.
Police continued seek at least three additional suspects in November’s break-in and robbery, Scoggins said.
Anyone with information can reach Whittier police at 562-567-9200, or the department’s tip hotline at 562-567-9299.

PHOTOS courtesy of the Whittier Police Department

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CA Attorney General says DNA backlog eliminated

LOS ANGELES — California Attorney General Kamala Harris says a backlog for a DNA database has been eliminated and that will allow investigators to analyze evidence within 30 days.
Harris said Wednesday that a review of DNA crime scene evidence once took an average of three to four months, but new technology and shifting the caseload among the state’s seven crime labs has improved efficiency.
For example, Harris says a new robotics technology allows investigators to analyze sexual assault evidence in two hours rather than two days.
Harris says timely investigation of evidence found at crime scenes is key to successful prosecutions.
The labs analyzed 5,400 evidence samples last year, compared to 4,800 in 2010.
The state’s DNA database contains profiles of 1.8 million offenders and is the fourth largest in the world.
– From the Associated Press
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Posted in DNA

DNA law gets help from local pol

From a press release:


Washington, DC – In light of recent developments in the JonBenet Ramsey murder case highlighting the effectiveness of DNA technology, the House today passed “The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2008” (H.R. 5057).  The bill included four amendments authored by Rep. Schiff that will improve DNA tools to help catch rapists, murderers and other violent criminals and help reduce the backlog of DNA samples waiting to be screened by federal and state investigators.  Most significantly, the bill includes an amendment authored by Rep. Schiff that would provide states with an incentive to collect DNA profiles from those arrested for murder or felony sex crimes. The bill will now be sent to the Senate for its approval before it is sent to the President to be signed into law. 
“DNA matching technology is one on the greatest advancements in forensic science since the fingerprint,” said Schiff.  “DNA matching technology has the potential to be one of the most effective tools in catching violent criminals.  We can use this technology far more successfully to track down murderers and rapists.  Clearing the backlog of DNA samples and collecting more data from violent felons will go a long way towards finally solving hundreds or thousands of cold case murders and sexual assaults.”

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