Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
February 22nd, 2018 • News

February 22, 2018

  • In 1997 a northwest Arkansas man committed sexual assault, and for the past 21 years he thought he had gotten away with it. But investigators collected a DNA sample from the original crime scene. They kept it safe and in good condition for two decades, and they submitted a record of it into a national data base.
  • Twenty-one years passed and there were no breakthroughs in the case. But then, not long ago the same man was arrested again, for a different crime.
  • Thanks to legislation enacted in 2015, the police collected another sample of his DNA, and it matched the DNA sample collected in the 1997 sexual assault.
  • The police knew they had caught the perpetrator, and prosecutors knew they had enough evidence to charge him for the sexual assault he committed 20 years ago
  • It is a unique criminal case for Arkansas, because so many years had passed from when the original crime was committed to when the criminal was caught.
  • I was the lead sponsor of the legislation that authorizes law enforcement to collect DNA samples from anyone arrested for a felony.
  • Expanded DNA sampling gave the police the tools they needed to solve the 20-year-old sexual assault case in northwest Arkansas, just as it has helped them solve many other cases that are not quite so unique.
  • Granted, to implement the law, state government had to provide additional funding for new equipment and enhanced training of Crime Lab personnel. But if you ask me, it has been worth every penny.
  • If you ask any victim of violent crime, I think they would agree.
  •       Click to Listen - Audio Recording from February 22, 2018