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Attorney General Bill Lockyer Announces DNA Match Leads to Arrest of Child Molestation Suspect in San Diego

Thursday, April 19, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced that a "cold hit" made March 19th in the California Department of Justice (DOJ) DNA Laboratory in Berkeley linked a suspect to a May, 2000 child molestation in San Diego.

Kenneth Anthony Banks, 42, a state prison parolee residing in San Diego, was arrested March 22 by the San Diego Police Department after evidence from the May, 2000 crime yielded a DNA profile which matched Banks' DNA profile stored in the DOJ Convicted Felon Databank.

California law requires blood and saliva samples to be taken from individuals convicted of any of nine specified felony sex and violent crimes. The samples yield DNA profiles, which are stored in the DOJ Convicted Felon Databank in the Berkeley DNA Lab. DNA profiles extracted from crime scene evidence are compared to the profiles in the Databank and a "cold hit" is made when the known offender's DNA profile in the databank matches a previously unknown suspect's DNA profile from crime scene evidence. Banks' DNA profile is in the Databank as a result of a felony sexual assault conviction in 1995.

Upon taking office in 1999, Attorney General Lockyer pledged to eliminate the backlog of more than 100,000 unanalyzed convicted felon blood samples. The lab is now on pace to eliminate this backlog by July 1, 2001, when there will be a projected total of 200,000 DNA profiles from convicted felons that will be searchable against DNA profiles from crime scene evidence.

In order to increase the number of suspects identified and crimes solved, Lockyer is sponsoring legislation (AB 673 - Migden) to add residential burglary, first-degree robbery, arson, and carjacking to the current list of qualifying offenses which includes rape, murder, attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, domestic violence, kidnaping, child molestation, mayhem and torture.

A total of 35 suspects have been identified by the DOJ DNA Convicted Felon Databank since it was established in 1994. Thirteen of these "cold hits" have been made since January 1, 2001, three of which have identified suspects in homicide cases that were more than 15 years old.

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