Taken in a 1996 sexual assault case, the rape kit sat untested in a Portland Police Department evidence room year after year – one of thousands across Oregon.
When a $2 million grant paid to test some of the state’s 5,600 untested kits following a public outcry, police packed up the kit and sent it off to a private lab in Utah, reported The Oregonian. The kit produced a DNA match in November – 22 years after the crime.
As a result, Jihad Eldeen Moore Jr., now 66, was arraigned Wednesday in a Multnomah County courthouse on rape and sodomy charges in the 1996 crime, the publication reported. Prosecutors released few details, but said the victim, who was 24 years old at the time, now lives out of state.
Moore has 10 previous felony convictions, along with four misdemeanor convictions and 14 probation violations, reported KOIN. The station spoke with Moore’s daughter, who said he has lived in Portland for the past six years after previously living in Wyoming.
The 1996 rape kit was tested under The Rose Project, which began in 2015 after police inventoried unchecked sexual assault forensic evidence kits. Portland police submitted 1,800 kits to a private lab in Utah, and 1,726 have since been tested. Evidence from the kits has resulted in at least one conviction, according to Portland police.
A 2015 survey by USA Today found more than 70,000 rape kits had gone untested across the United States, but the publication noted that its report covered only a fraction of the nation’s 18,000 police departments. Belated testing of the kits, however, has raised troubling issues about notifying victims and dealing with any results, reported The Washington Post.