With DNA system's help, arrest made in '97 rape

The FBI system allows agencies to share DNA profiles electronically.
WARREN -- With the assistance of high-tech science and the FBI's Combined DNA Index System, city police were able to nab a man they believe committed a rape here in 1997.
Terry Jackson, 46, of Warren, was arrested earlier this week on a charge of rape. He is scheduled to appear in municipal court Tuesday to face the charge, said Sgt. Michael Merritt.
The statue of limitations on rape cases is 20 years, said Traci Timko-Rose, an assistant city prosecutor, who is handling the case.
"We were able to make the arrest on this case due to CODIS [FBI's Laboratory's Combined DNA Index System]," Merritt said.
CODIS allows federal, state and local law enforcement to share DNA profiles electronically.
Into the system
Jackson's DNA was entered into CODIS in July 2003, shortly before he was released from prison, where he served a five-year sentence on burglary and robbery charges. All inmates are required to give a DNA sample before they are released, Merritt said.
The inmate's DNA samples are then entered into the CODIS system to find out if they match with DNA samples from unsolved cases, Merritt explained.
"It's a great system," Merritt said. "It's extremely helpful in helping us solve older cases."
The police department was notified about four months ago that Jackson's DNA matched DNA gathered in the unsolved rape, Merritt said.
As soon as police received the information, they began looking for Jackson.
"We were able to find him and we are very pleased that we are able to make an arrest on this crime," Merritt said. He noted that officials will obtain another DNA sample from Jackson to compare with the CODIS results.

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