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Attorney General Lockyer Reports Arrest of Suspected Rapist After Dna Database Match

Thursday, January 6, 2000
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SAN JOSE, Calif.) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer reported today that California's growing DNA database has led to another "cold hit" and the arrest of a convicted sex offender, Willard R. Williams, 39, for a sexual assault in a San Jose-area K-Mart restroom six weeks ago.

"This is the second time in 9 months that our DNA laboratory has helped local law enforcement in identifying possible suspects in violent sexual assaults," Lockyer said, joining local law enforcement in announcing the arrest. "By matching DNA information we gather from convicted sex offenders to evidence found at crime scenes, we've been able to produce valuable ‘cold hits' – a suspect in cases where there often are very few leads."

California law requires blood and saliva samples to be taken from individuals convicted of sexual assaults and other violent crimes. The blood and saliva samples yield DNA profiles, which are stored in the state Department of Justice Convicted Felon DNA Databank in Berkeley. DNA evidence taken from crime scenes may be compared to the DNA profiles in the databank.

Williams was arrested December 31, 1999, in Kansas City, Kansas, on a fugitive warrant. Analysis of DNA samples taken from the San Jose crime scene matched Williams' DNA profile. Since Williams was not a known suspect in the San Jose sexual assault, the DNA database match produced a "cold hit." Williams was convicted in 1987 of rape and oral copulation. He is a registered "serious" sex offender in Santa Clara County on the current Megan's Law CD-ROM, which is available for public viewing at all local sheriff's departments and many local police departments.

Last year, Daniel Metzler, 37, of Louisiana was arrested and brought to California after a "cold hit" linked him to a series of sexual assaults in Mission Viejo in 1992. He was charged with sexual assault and kidnapping.

The latest cold hit is the fifth since 1994 that the DNA database has led law enforcement to a suspect.

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