Police test delay leaves rape victim without evidence | Shanghai Daily

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Police test delay leaves rape victim without evidence


A WOMAN in north China's Henan Province says incompetence by county police has allowed a rapist to stay free for six years.


The Pingyu County police involved are being investigated, Ma Xun, deputy director of Zhumadian City People's Procuratorate, told today's Dahe Daily.

The police were accused of delaying testing semen-tainted tissues provided by the alleged rapist's victim.

And when the testing was carried out three years after the attack, the semen had deteriorated and forensic scientists could not obtain the DNA needed, the victim Cui Li (not her real name), told the Zhengzhou-based newspaper.

Cui, 56, a villager in the county, said she was raped on October 12, 2002 at her home. She was sick in bed and her husband was working in the fields.

She said another villager broke into her home, raped her and robbed the home.

Cui and her husband told the Pingyu police the next day and gave the tissues as evidence.

The police recorded the complaint, accepted the tissues and charged them 500 yuan (US$73.14) for DNA testing. But the police never visited their home to investigate, the couple said.

The police offered no test results in the subsequent years. Nor did they make progress, they said. Every time they visited the police to ask about the DNA test, the tissues could be seen still in a plastic evidence bag at the police station.

After repeated requests, the couple was finally given access to the police files. They were astonished to learn that the test was not performed until three years later on July 29, 2005. But the test failed to detect DNA as the semen had deteriorated.

"We clearly saw 'deteriorated' on the test report," the couple said.

The couple filed a complaint with Pingyu prosecutors last week charging the Pingyu police with dereliction of duty, Cui's 23-year-old daughter told the Dahe Daily.

"Our lawyer said it was the duty of the police to hand over the evidence for testing and to preserve the evidence properly," she said.

Huang Dongliang, the captain of Pingyu County Security Police Bureau's criminal squad, admitted that the police had received the tissues.

He said the police had questioned the man about the charge but had released him for lack of evidence, he said.

Officer Duan Xihua who sent the tissues to Zhumadian police for tests said the city-level police were unable to carry out the DNA test because of limited technology and equipment.

According to the law, the tissues should have been sent to higher authorities with the Henan provincial-level police or the state-level Ministry of Public Security for tests.

The county police did not arrange getting the tissues to the provincial or state-level police immediately, which Officer Duan blamed on the county police's limited budget.

But the couple claim the attacker might have some guanxi with the police and interfered with the investigation.

They said that the man, after learning he had been identified, led a group of people and attacked their home. The couple reported the attack to the police but no officers came to investigate.

"The rapist has been free for the past six years. I have thought of killing myself several times as my children feel ashamed of me," Cui said.

Huang said the 500-yuan charge for the test, which should have been free, was returned to the couple in 2007.



 

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